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A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme

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A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 06:21
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  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

63% (02:07) correct 37% (02:30) wrong based on 219 sessions

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A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme cathepsin C severely reduces a person’s ability to ward off periodontitis, or gum disease. The enzyme triggers immunological reactions that destroy diseased cells and eliminate infections
in the mouth. But researchers are developing ways to restore the enzyme to normal levels. Once that happens, we will be able to eliminate periodontitis.


Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Restoring cathepsin C to normal levels is the only way to eliminate periodontitis.

(B) Genetic mutation is the only cause of lowered levels of cathepsin C.

(C) Researchers will soon succeed in finding means of restoring cathepsin C to normal levels.

(D) Persons who do not have the genetic mutation that lowers levels of cathepsin C do not get gum disease.

(E) A person whose cathepsin C level has been restored to normal will not suffer from periodontitis.

Source: LSAT
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Re: A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 21:25
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ganand wrote:
A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme cathepsin C severely reduces a person’s ability to ward off periodontitis, or gum disease. The enzyme triggers immunological reactions that destroy diseased cells and eliminate infections
in the mouth. But researchers are developing ways to restore the enzyme to normal levels. Once that happens, we will be able to eliminate periodontitis.


Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Restoring cathepsin C to normal levels is the only way to eliminate periodontitis.

(B) Genetic mutation is the only cause of lowered levels of cathepsin C.

(C) Researchers will soon succeed in finding means of restoring cathepsin C to normal levels.

(D) Persons who do not have the genetic mutation that lowers levels of cathepsin C do not get gum disease.

(E) A person whose cathepsin C level has been restored to normal will not suffer from periodontitis.

Source: LSAT

The conclusion comes from the last two sentences: "Once {researchers develop ways to restore the enzyme cathepsin C to normal levels}, we will be able to eliminate periodontitis." Why will we be able to eliminate periodontitis?

  • A common genetic mutation lowers levels of the enzyme cathepsin C, reducing a person’s ability to ward off periodontitis, or gum disease.
  • The enzyme cathepsin C "triggers immunological reactions that destroy diseased cells and eliminate infections in the mouth." Thus, we can infer that destroying diseased cells and eliminating infections in the mouth helps ward off periodontitis, or gum disease.
  • If we can restore the enzyme to normal levels, then we can counteract the effect of that common genetic mutation.

Will this allow us to eliminate periodontitis? Only if one of the following is assumed:

Quote:
(A) Restoring cathepsin C to normal levels is the only way to eliminate periodontitis.

According to the argument, restoring cathepsin C to normal levels is sufficient for eliminating periodontitis, but that does not mean it is necessary. Perhaps other ways for eliminating periodontitis could also be developed. Eliminate choice (A).

Quote:
(B) Genetic mutation is the only cause of lowered levels of cathepsin C.

If we have a way to restore the enzyme, it doesn't matter what causes lowered levels of the enzyme. Perhaps there are several other causes of lowered levels of cathepsin C. Regardless, according to the author, if we can restore the enzyme to normal levels, then we can eliminate periodontitis. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Researchers will soon succeed in finding means of restoring cathepsin C to normal levels.

The author does not talk about when researchers will be able to restore the enzyme to normal levels. The author simply states that "once that happens", we will be able to eliminate periodontitis. It doesn't matter how long it takes researchers to develop those ways, so choice (C) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Persons who do not have the genetic mutation that lowers levels of cathepsin C do not get gum disease.

As described for choice (B), there could be other factors leading to lowered levels of cathepsin C. Thus, even people who do not have the genetic mutation could have lowered levels of the enzyme. This would not disrupt the author's argument, which is that if we can restore the enzyme to normal levels, then we can eliminate periodontitis. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) A person whose cathepsin C level has been restored to normal will not suffer from periodontitis.

What if there are other causes of periodontitis besides lowered levels of the enzyme? If that is the case, then restoring the enzyme to normal levels might not be sufficient for eliminating periodontitis. Thus, the author's argument depends on this assumption, and choice (E) is the correct answer.
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Re: A common genetic mutation that lowers levels of the enzyme   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2017, 21:25
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