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Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent

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Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 17:46
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Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent antibiotics would soon revolutionize the entire medical field. Patients would be given large dosages of these antibiotics, which would attack and kill harmful bacteria in the body, making the patients stronger as a result.

Which of the following, if true, best describes a reasoning error in the scientists’ prediction?

(A) To achieve the proper dosage requirements, several rounds of antibiotics would likely be necessary.
(B) In the 1940s, antibiotics had only recently been discovered.
(C) Some patients respond more quickly than others to strong antibiotics.
(D) Strong antibiotics act on all bacteria in the body in the same manner, including beneficial bacteria critical to human health.
(E) Some of the proposed antibiotic treatments would be quite expensive to develop.

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Re: Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 17:00
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csaluja wrote:
Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent antibiotics would soon revolutionize the entire medical field. Patients would be given large dosages of these antibiotics, which would attack and kill harmful bacteria in the body, making the patients stronger as a result.

Which of the following, if true, best describes a reasoning error in the scientists’ prediction?

(A) To achieve the proper dosage requirements, several rounds of antibiotics would likely be necessary.
(B) In the 1940s, antibiotics had only recently been discovered.
(C) Some patients respond more quickly than others to strong antibiotics.
(D) Strong antibiotics act on all bacteria in the body in the same manner, including beneficial bacteria critical to human health.
(E) Some of the proposed antibiotic treatments would be quite expensive to develop.

Dear csaluja,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

This appear to be a PowerScore question, appearing on p. 145 of this guide. I like this question: it has the "real world" feel of the GMAT CR.

The doctors thought these massive antibiotic doses would be the ticket to universal health, and we want to find the flaw. Why would massive doses of these nifty new powerful antibiotics not bring uniform benefit to all people?

(A) To achieve the proper dosage requirements, several rounds of antibiotics would likely be necessary.
Hmm. So what if it takes 3-4 doses? If the doctors came to us and said, "Take 3-4 shots over some period of time and then you'll never be sick again," that would still be quite revolutionary! This doesn't not really weaken the argument. This is incorrect.

(B) In the 1940s, antibiotics had only recently been discovered.
How is this relevant. If something is new, maybe there were some side effects that weren't discovered until later, maybe that would change the plan. This could be understood as introducing uncertainty, but it doesn't introduce a clear and certain weakener. This is incorrect.

(C) Some patients respond more quickly than others to strong antibiotics.
So what? This just means some people would get to universal health a little faster than others--that still would be a revolution. This does not weaken the argument. This is incorrect.

(D) Strong antibiotics act on all bacteria in the body in the same manner, including beneficial bacteria critical to human health.
Aha! If the antibiotics kill both harmful bacteria and beneficial bacteria, then it sounds as if these antibiotics are going to do both harm and good. The result will not be a utopia of universal health! This is a promising answer choice.

(E) Some of the proposed antibiotic treatments would be quite expensive to develop.
The argument does not discuss economics at all. If these antibiotics really could bring about universal health, someone somehow would find a way to pay for them. This is irrelevant and incorrect.

The only possible correct answer is OA = (D). This is a very well written question.

BTW, some non-scientists think that all bacteria are germs and are bad. In fact, for any healthy human being, there are about as many bacteria cells in our body as our own cells, and the most of these bacteria are helpful: ultimately, we would not survive without them! The "bad" bacteria that make us sick are a very small segment of the bacteria population.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Many scientists of the 1940s predicted that, new, exceptionally potent   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2017, 17:00
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