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A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed

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A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2013, 20:59
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A
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  5% (low)

Question Stats:

92% (01:05) correct 8% (01:30) wrong based on 479 sessions

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A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed an antibiotic that has been shown to be highly effective at treating a variety of infections. The drug is obtained from the scales of the rare tutu fish, which is only found in the wild living in the reefs off Sando Island in the South Pacific. Since it takes the scales from 1,000 fish to make a single kilogram of the antibiotic, it follows that continued production of the drug will lead to the extinction of the tutu fish.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) The antibiotic made from the tutu fish's scales is only available by prescription.
(B) Because tutu fish are rare, they are also expensive.
(C) The inhabitants of Sando Island regard the meat of the tutu fish as a delicacy.
(D) Tutu fish breed well in captivity, and can be cultivated on fish farms.
(E) Sando Island is difficult to reach since it does not have an airstrip.

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Re: A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2013, 15:43
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avohden wrote:
A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed an antibiotic that has been shown to be highly effective at treating a variety of infections. The drug is obtained from the scales of the rare tutu fish, which is only found in the wild living in the reefs off Sando Island in the South Pacific. Since it takes the scales from 1,000 fish to make a single kilogram of the antibiotic, it follows that continued production of the drug will lead to the extinction of the tutu fish.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) The antibiotic made from the tutu fish's scales is only available by prescription.
(B) Because tutu fish are rare, they are also expensive.
(C) The inhabitants of Sando Island regard the meat of the tutu fish as a delicacy.
(D) Tutu fish breed well in captivity, and can be cultivated on fish farms.
(E) Sando Island is difficult to reach since it does not have an airstrip.

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This is a Conclusion Weakening Question and thus we need to find an answer choice that will undermine the conclusion. The argument states that the new, effective antibiotic is obtained from scales of a rare fish. To obtain 1kg of the drug we need 1000 fish. Conclusion: the production of the drug will result in the extinction of this species of fish.
The conclusion will not hold, if, for example, the fish multiples quickly enough for its population not to be influenced by the production of the drug.
Answers A, B, C and E are out of scope. The way we obtain the antibiotic (A), the way the inhabitants perceive the fish meat (C), the price of the fish (B) and the means of transport we need to use to reach the island (E) are all irrelevant since they have no direct influence on the breeding of the fish. Only answer D gives a valid explanation why the fish will not become extinct.
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Re: A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 17:30
The words "most seriously weakens" indicate that this is a Weaken question. The correct choice will make it less likely that the conclusion follows from the stated evidence.

The conclusion of the argument is easy to spot since the author uses the phrase "it follows that." The author believes the tutu fish will become extinct if production of the drug made from its scales continues. The evidence is that the fish is rare and that 1,000 are required to make a single kilogram of the new antibiotic.

The central assumption here is that the fish cannot reproduce fast enough to avoid extinction. A weakener will attack the author's assumption. It will suggest how the tutu fish can reproduce fast enough to avoid extinction, even with continued drug production.

(D) attacks the author's assumption and is therefore correct. If the tutu fish can be bred successfully in captivity and cultivated on fish farms, their extinction can be avoided.

(A), (B), and (E) are are all irrelevant to the argument. It does not matter that the antibiotic is available only by prescription, that the fish is expensive, or that Sando Island is difficult to reach. The argument is only concerned with the threat to the fish should drug production be continued, despite any of the factors mentioned in these three choices.

(C) presents a different threat to the fish. The argument is only concerned with the threat posed by production of the drug.

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Re: A large pharmaceutical company has recently developed   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2018, 17:30
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