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QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere

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QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2018, 10:57
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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 217: Critical Reasoning


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Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administered by the cumbersome procedure of injection under the skin. If proteins are taken orally, they are digested and cannot reach their target cells. Certain nonprotein drugs, however, contain chemical bonds that are not broken down by the digestive system. They can, thus, be taken orally.

The statements above most strongly support a claim that a research procedure that successfully accomplishes which of the following would be beneficial to users of protein drugs?

(A) Coating insulin with compounds that are broken down by target cells, but whose chemical bonds are resistant to digestion
(B) Converting into protein compounds, by procedures that work in the laboratory, the nonprotein drugs that resist digestion
(C) Removing permanently from the digestive system any substances that digest proteins
(D) Determining, in a systematic way, what enzymes and bacteria are present in the normal digestive system and whether they tend to be broken down within the body
(E) Determining the amount of time each nonprotein drug takes to reach its target cells.

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QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2018, 10:01
This question stem is a bit weird. We're trying to determine a claim that would be supported by the information in the passage. That claim is that "a research procedure that successfully accomplishes _________ would be beneficial to users of protein drugs." So we need to identify the accomplishment that would make the most sense in that blank.

It would be like a "Complete the Passage" question, if the passage ended with, "Therefore, a research procedure that succeeds in _________ would be beneficial to users of the protein drugs." Again, we need to identify the accomplishment of the research procedure. This accomplishment should be something beneficial to users of the protein drugs.

Let's start with the given information:

  • "Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administered by the cumbersome procedure of injection under the skin."
  • Why must those protein drugs be administered by injection? Because "if proteins are taken orally, they are digested and cannot reach their target cells." So if you take those protein drugs orally, they won't be able to do their jobs.
  • "Certain nonprotein drugs, however, contain chemical bonds that are not broken down by the digestive system. They can, thus, be taken orally." These nonprotein drugs will NOT be digested. Therefore, they can pass through the digestive system and STILL reach their target cells. In other words, if you take these certain nonprotein drugs orally, they will still be able to do their jobs.

Based on that information, we need to identify an accomplishment that would be most useful to users of protein drugs. Remember, those users generally cannot take their drugs orally and instead have to take their drugs by the cumbersome procedure of injection under the skin. Pay attention to the word "cumbersome." This implies that taking the drugs by injection is less convenient than taking the drugs orally.

Quote:
(A) Coating insulin with compounds that are broken down by target cells, but whose chemical bonds are resistant to digestion

If this were accomplished, insulin (a protein drug) could pass through the digestive system without being broken down. The insulin could thus reach its target cells even if taken orally. Currently, this is not possible, and therefore insulin users must inject the drug under the skin.

This accomplishment would allow insulin users to take the insulin orally rather than with an injection. Thus, insulin users could avoid the cumbersome procedure of injection and instead use a more convenient method (i.e. swallowing a pill). This would certainly be beneficial to users of protein drugs (i.e. insulin users), so hang on to (A).

Quote:
(B) Converting into protein compounds, by procedures that work in the laboratory, the nonprotein drugs that resist digestion

The nonprotein drugs currently resist digestion. If those drugs are converted into protein compounds, they might NOT be able to pass through the digestive system without being broken down. That means they would have to be injected instead of taken orally. This "accomplishment" might be detrimental to nonprotein drug users. Regardless, it certainly does not help protein drug users, so eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Removing permanently from the digestive system any substances that digest proteins

Well, now the protein drugs CAN pass through the digestive system and still reach their target cells, and this is a benefit for protein drug users. But now their digestive systems cannot process proteins! The normal, healthy functioning of the digestive system would have to be compromised in order to achieve that benefit. Choice (A), on the other hand, represents a clear benefit with no apparent negative consequences. (A) is a much better answer, so eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Determining, in a systematic way, what enzymes and bacteria are present in the normal digestive system and whether they tend to be broken down within the body

This might provide some interesting information about enzymes and bacteria, but how will that help protein drug users? Perhaps that information could somehow lead to a further development that somehow benefits protein drug users, but, by itself, the accomplishment cited in choice (D) does not help protein drug users. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) Determining the amount of time each nonprotein drug takes to reach its target cells

This might be interesting data, but it does not directly help protein drug users. Again, it's possible that this information might lead to a future medical advancement that somehow helps protein users, but this specific accomplishment does not help protein drug users. Eliminate (E).

(A) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2018, 11:02
IMO A. Talks about how protein drugs can be coated with insulin, prevent them from getting digested and allow them to reach the target cells for final break down. Thereby the research can be successfully accomplished.

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Re: QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 01:14
Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administered by the cumbersome procedure of injection under the skin. If proteins are taken orally, they are digested and cannot reach their target cells. Certain nonprotein drugs, however, contain chemical bonds that are not broken down by the digestive system. They can, thus, be taken orally.

The statements above most strongly support a claim that a research procedure that successfully accomplishes which of the following would be beneficial to users of protein drugs?

(A) Coating insulin with compounds that are broken down by target cells, but whose chemical bonds are resistant to digestion -Correct. If the target cells can break down the proteins easily then it will work for the patients.
(B) Converting into protein compounds, by procedures that work in the laboratory, the nonprotein drugs that resist digestion -A is better than B
(C) Removing permanently from the digestive system any substances that digest proteins -We need not touch digestive system
(D) Determining, in a systematic way, what enzymes and bacteria are present in the normal digestive system and whether they tend to be broken down within the body -Even if we come to know what enzymes are broken down by digestive system, it won't be of any help.
(E) Determining the amount of time each nonprotein drug takes to reach its target cells. -Out of scope
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Re: QOTD: Useful protein drugs, such as insulin, must still be administere   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2018, 01:14
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