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Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have

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Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 22:47
Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have had to deal with many uncertainties. In the first place, most behaviors are governed by more than one gene, and until recently geneticists had no method for identifying the multiple genes involved. In addition, even when a single gene is found to control a behavior, researchers in different fields do not necessarily agree that it is a “behavioral gene.” Neuroscientists, whose interest in genetic research is to understand the nervous system (which generates behavior), define the term broadly. But ethologists—specialists in animal behavior—are interested in evolution, so they define the term narrowly. They insist that mutations in a behavioral gene must alter a specific normal behavior and not merely make the organism ill, so that the genetically induced behavioral change will provide variation that natural selection can act upon, possibly leading to the evolution of a new species. For example, in the fruit fly, researchers have identified the gene Shaker, mutations in which cause flies to shake violently under anesthesia. Since shaking is not healthy, ethologists do not consider Shaker a behavioral gene. In contrast, ethologists do consider the gene period (per), which controls the fruit fly’s circadian (24-hour) rhythm, a behavioral gene because files with mutated per genes are healthy; they simply have different rhythms.
1. The passage suggests that neuroscientists would most likely consider Shaker to be which of the following?
A. An example of a behavioral gene
B. One of multiple genes that control a single behavior
C. A gene that, when mutated, causes an alteration in a specific normal behavior without making the organism ill
D. A gene of interest to ethologists but of no interest to neuroscientists
E. A poor source of information about the nervous system
[Reveal] Spoiler:
A


2. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following, if true, would be most likely to influence ethologists’ opinions about whether a particular gene in a species is a behavioral gene?
A. The gene is found only in that species.
B. The gene is extremely difficult to identify.
C. The only effect of mutations in the gene is to make the organism ill.
D. Neuroscientists consider the gene to be a behavioral gene.
E. Geneticists consider the gene to be a behavioral gene.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C


The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. summarize findings in an area of research
B. discuss different perspectives on a scientific question
C. outline the major questions in a scientific discipline
D. illustrate the usefulness of investigating a research topic
E. reconcile differences between two definitions of a term
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B



I kind of got why OA of the question 1 is correct, but still confused with b.
Both are taking about behavioral genes.
Help me figure out this problem.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2013, 14:49
The only answer I got correct was #1 and #3, and I guess #1

Can anyone attempt this question, and give me the reasons why the OA are correct for #1, 2 and how??

Thanks
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2013, 08:30
Expert's post
If you read the passage, you'll notice the keyword "But ethologists..."

What was happening before? In the prior sentence, we were talking about NEUROSCIENTISTS. But now, we are talking about ETHOLOGISTS. They have DIFFERENT opinions.

What exactly is the difference? Well, later on, we see that ETHOLOGISTS do not consider Shaker a behavioral gene. Since ethologists and neuroscientists differ in the terms/scope of the word "behavioral gene" -- and ethologists do not consider Shaker a "behavioral gene". Then, well, it's likely that NEUROSCIENTISTS DO consider shaker to be a "behavioral gene".

The key to getting this question correct was to see that the passage compared the perspectives of NEUROSCIENTISTS vs ETHOLOGISTS -- and most of the passage elaborated on the perspective of the ETHOLOGISTS.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2013, 08:40
Expert's post
Quote:
2. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following, if true, would be most likely to influence ethologists’ opinions about whether a particular gene in a species is a behavioral gene?


THis is an inference question -- GMATPill Framework #8 Inference

The ETHOLOGISTS' opinion is ....where?

Well, it's not going to be in the beginning -- we have what researchers think in the beginning. But what is crucial to this question is not going to be here. We want to jump to the point in the passage where we talk about the ethologists' opinion and what they really care about.

Quote:
But ethologists—specialists in animal behavior—are interested in evolution, so they define the term narrowly. They INSIST that mutations in a behavioral gene must alter a specific normal behavior and not merely make the organism ill, ...


So there you have it. We got the point where the ethologists INSIST -- this is a strong word. It indicates what they care about. And they care whether mutations make a change beyond just making them "ill".

So in #2, if (C) is true:
The only effect of mutations in the gene is to make the organism ill.

Then ETHOLOGISTS would INSIST that this is not a behavioral gene. It satisfies the question -- which MOST LIKELY INFLUENCES the ethologists' opinion.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2013, 09:01
Expert's post
Quote:
The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. summarize findings in an area of research
B. discuss different perspectives on a scientific question
C. outline the major questions in a scientific discipline
D. illustrate the usefulness of investigating a research topic
E. reconcile differences between two definitions of a term


What is this passage talking about? Well, we are not summarizing findings here. This whole passage was talking about how ethologists' opinion differed from neuroscientists. What was considered a behavioral gene actually is NOT -- then an example of what IS towards the end.

This sentence in the first half of the passage:
"even when a single gene is found to control a behavior, researchers in different fields do not necessarily agree that it is a 'behavioral gene.' "

So you can see, these are all "different" perspectives....on what? on what a "behavioral gene" is.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have   [#permalink] 13 Sep 2013, 09:01
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