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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]

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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 flies 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



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.



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





Note: Verbal OG 2019 question order is #3, #1, #2
RC00322-01
RC00322-02
RC00322-05

Originally posted by eybrj2 on 23 Apr 2012, 23:47.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 25 Aug 2019, 09:27, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (283).
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New post 13 Sep 2013, 09:40
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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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New post 13 Sep 2013, 09:30
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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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New post 13 Sep 2013, 10:01
2
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]

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New post 06 Jul 2014, 08:01
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GMATPill wrote:
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.



I cannot contradict you on this, but I am little convinced.

The only information we have regarding NEUROSCIENTISTS is that they define the term 'Behavioral gene' broadly.
And on the other hand ETHOLOGISTS define the term 'Behavioral gene' narrowly.

Now, shaker is not considered as BG by ETHOLOGISTS, but that doesn't mean that shaker will be considered by NEUROSC as BG.

Broadly is not OPPOSITE of narrowly, it is just the difference in scope.

NEUROSC may or may not consider Shaker as a BG.

Please advise !
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New post 13 Jul 2014, 07:42
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I too selected the wrong answer for question #2....but I didn't read the question properly....heres my explanation about the correct answer C ....the important word in the question is 'whether' ....in gmat we use 'whether' wrt either 'yes' or 'no'. The passage clearly states" They insist that mutations in a behavioral gene must alter a specific normal behavior and not merely make the organism ill" .
So think of it as a yes or no question....
Yes - the gene does more than merely making the organism ill i.e.altering specific behaviour. (so its a behavioural gene)
No - the gene does not anything other than make the organism ill. (so its not a behavioural gene) ...Hope this helps :)
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New post 15 Jul 2014, 23:06
1
I had the same problem with question 1, and it took me a few readings before I could imply that A is corrrect
here's my take on why question 1's OA is A

this excerpt's idea, as mentioned in the first two sentences, is that the study of behavioral genes are uncertain

and this is because 1. behavior genes are hard to identify, and 2. experts in different fields disagree with each other

and then the author supports this by listing the example of Neuroscientists and Ethologists, neuro's views are broad while etho's views are narrow

this is followed by the example of the shaker gene, author's purpose of using the shaker gene example is to point out the uncertainty of study due to these experts' disagreements.

so the answer choice to question 1 must be something in contrast of the Ethologist viewpoint

B doesn't feature enough conflict, also behaviors can also be dictated by a single gene as mentioned sentence 3.
C is too specific of an implication and is not as 'safe' as A
D and E are fillers

A is then a somewhat general answer
and I think it only works because the author's purpose of "Neuro vs Etho" is to point out conflicting perspectives
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New post 18 Mar 2015, 05:30
Very tough passage. Can someone pls explain the second question?
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New post 15 Apr 2015, 13:15
1
Ergenekon wrote:
Very tough passage. Can someone pls explain the second question?

Yes, it's really tough. I got all correct but in almost 9 min!!!
Let me try the second question.

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.
Only in that species? There is no evidence in the passage to support this.

B. The gene is extremely difficult to identify.
The difficulty is not mentioned in the passage. This one can not influence ethologist's opinions.

C. The only effect of mutations in the gene is to make the organism ill.
The author says that the ethologists insist that mutations in a behavioral gene must alter a specific normal behavior and not merely make the organism ill. Then an example is given in the passage. In the example, the author says that ethologists do not consider Shaker a behavioral gene because shaking is not healthy.
Based on these evidences, we can infer that the effect of mutations do influence ethologists' opinons. If the effet of a mutation is not healthy, ethologists will not consider such mutation (gene) behavioral.

D. Neuroscientists consider the gene to be a behavioral gene.
Neuroscientists define the term, behavioral gene, broadly, but ethologists define it narrowly. Thus, the fact that neuroscientists consider a gene behaviroral can not influence ethologist's opinions.

E. Geneticists consider the gene to be a behavioral gene.
There is no sufficient information in the passage about how the opinions of ethologists could be similar with or different from those of geneticists.

Hope it helps.
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New post 16 Sep 2017, 00:52
GMATPill wrote:
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.


I have a question.

From q1 i inferred within 20 seconds that neuroscientists view is opposite so what ethnologist will consider behavioral gene the same will not be considered by NS(means that Shacker is a behavioral gene),however in second question also if the viewpoint is opposite then why can't we say that if NS believes something to be a behavioral gene the EN will not.
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 11:54
Discuss perspectives on a scientific question.

What is the scientific question here? I don't get why this is the right answer.[/quote]

I agree. Why is this the correct answer? I picked C. However, I guess the author does not just merely outline the questions ...[/quote]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have had to deal with many uncertainties

author is discussing issues related to the researcher's study and how neuro and ethologist perceive the concept...
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 11:56
[quote=jawele][quote=pra1785][quote=GMATPill]
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.[/quote]


Discuss perspectives on a scientific question.

What is the scientific question here? I don't get why this is the right answer.[/quote]

I agree. Why is this the correct answer? I picked C. However, I guess the author does not just merely outline the questions ...[/quote]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have had to deal with many uncertainties

author is discussing issues related to the researcher's study and how neuro and ethologist perceive the concept...
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 16:32
Hello Experts, mikemcgarry GMATNinja ,

I am not really convinced with the OA of 1st Question below.

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


I chose B, because of this sentence in the passage - In the first place, most behaviors are governed by more than one gene,

Please explain how B is wrong and A is correct.
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New post 09 Oct 2018, 21:04
himanshukamra2711 wrote:
I have a question.

From q1 i inferred within 20 seconds that neuroscientists view is opposite so what ethnologist will consider behavioral gene the same will not be considered by NS(means that Shacker is a behavioral gene),however in second question also if the viewpoint is opposite then why can't we say that if NS believes something to be a behavioral gene the EN will not.

Let's take a closer at what, exactly, question #2 is asking:

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?

The question isn't asking us to identify which of the choices is true according to the passage. Instead, we must find the choice that would most likely influence whether ethologists think a given gene is a behavioral gene.

We can eliminate (D) because nothing in the passage suggests that the opinion of neuroscientists influences the opinion of ethologists.

On the other hand, we are told that ethologists do not consider Shaker to be behavioral because shaking is not healthy. So if an ethologist were told that the only effect of a mutation is to make an organism ill, this new information would definitely have an impact on whether they classified the corresponding gene to be behavioral or not (they would classify it as not behavioral).

That's why (C) is the best answer choice, and (D) can be eliminated. Remember that the GMAT doesn't require you to connect every question for an RC passage to each other. You just need to answer the specific question being asked, then move on.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2018, 21:07
pra1785 wrote:
Discuss perspectives on a scientific question.

What is the scientific question here? I don't get why this is the right answer.

jawele wrote:
I agree. Why is this the correct answer? I picked C. However, I guess the author does not just merely outline the questions ...

The "scientific question" is "How do you researchers define behavioral?"

It's a little tough to spot because the author doesn't come out and say this very explicitly. But when thinking, "Why did the author write this?" I end up in the same place as GMATPill:

    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.”

The author dives into this topic by writing about the contrasting views of neuroscientists and ethologists. While most of the word count in this passage is spent on how ethologists treat the case of Shaker, the author does this for the sake of illustrating the contrast in perspectives.

Quote:
B. discuss different perspectives on a scientific question

(B) is the best choice because it most clearly describes that motivation to present the contrast.

Quote:
C. outline the major questions in a scientific discipline

We can eliminate (C) because the author didn't write the passage to outline major questions. If this were true, we'd see more of an outline-like breakdown of more than one question. Instead, we have a deep dive into a single question ("How do these two groups define behavioral?") and a single example (Shaker) used to address that question.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 22:26
1
I'm still seeing a pile of doubts about Q1 on this passage...

TGC wrote:
GMATPill wrote:
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.



I cannot contradict you on this, but I am little convinced.

The only information we have regarding NEUROSCIENTISTS is that they define the term 'Behavioral gene' broadly.
And on the other hand ETHOLOGISTS define the term 'Behavioral gene' narrowly.

Now, shaker is not considered as BG by ETHOLOGISTS, but that doesn't mean that shaker will be considered by NEUROSC as BG.

Broadly is not OPPOSITE of narrowly, it is just the difference in scope.

NEUROSC may or may not consider Shaker as a BG.

Please advise !

oanhnguyen1116 wrote:
, do you find out a convincing answer? I am stuck in this point like you.

psaikrishna90 wrote:
Hello Experts, mikemcgarryGMATNinja ,

I am not really convinced with the OA of 1st Question below.

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


I chose B, because of this sentence in the passage - In the first place, most behaviors are governed by more than one gene,

Please explain how B is wrong and A is correct.

narmfarmer wrote:
I had the same problem with question 1, and it took me a few readings before I could imply that A is corrrect
here's my take on why question 1's OA is A

this excerpt's idea, as mentioned in the first two sentences, is that the study of behavioral genes are uncertain

and this is because 1. behavior genes are hard to identify, and 2. experts in different fields disagree with each other

and then the author supports this by listing the example of Neuroscientists and Ethologists, neuro's views are broad while etho's views are narrow

this is followed by the example of the shaker gene, author's purpose of using the shaker gene example is to point out the uncertainty of study due to these experts' disagreements.

so the answer choice to question 1 must be something in contrast of the Ethologist viewpoint

B doesn't feature enough conflict, also behaviors can also be dictated by a single gene as mentioned sentence 3.
C is too specific of an implication and is not as 'safe' as A
D and E are fillers

A is then a somewhat general answer
and I think it only works because the author's purpose of "Neuro vs Etho" is to point out conflicting perspectives

This might sound obvious, but the most important thing here is to remember what the question asks us to do:
Quote:
1. The passage suggests that neuroscientists would most likely consider Shaker to be which of the following?

This comes up in CR all the time. The task of this question is not to identify an ironclad inference. We do not have to find a statement that is 100% logically airtight. Instead, the question asks us:

    From the author's perspective, which of these choices gets closest to what neuroscientists believe about Shaker?"

We'll get to the right answer choice by eliminating anything that explicitly contradicts the passage and keeping the choice that (according to the passage) is most likely what neuroscientists believe.

Quote:
A. An example of a behavioral gene

Hmmm, seems simple enough!

The author brings up neuroscientists and ethologists because they have contrasting definitions of what a "behavioral gene" is. Then the author offers the fruit fly and its Shaker gene as an example of that contrast. Ethologists do not consider Shaker to be a behavioral gene. So it's fair to say that the author suggests that neuroscientists would consider Shaker to be a behavioral gene.

This isn't 100% airtight, but we don't need airtight. We need something that neuroscientists would most likely consider Shaker to be. So let's keep (A) around, and see if anything else gets us closer.

Quote:
B. One of multiple genes that control a single behavior

A similar statement appears at the start of the passage:

    "In the first place, most behaviors are governed by more than one gene."

So we have a fact regarding most behaviors. And this is a textbook example of an answer choice that "just sounds right." But the question asks us specifically what neuroscientists most likely believe to be true about Shaker in particular. We're missing critical information to connect the dots here:

  • We don't see any information explicitly telling us that the shaking behavior caused by mutations in Shaker is influenced by multiple genes.
  • We don't see any suggestion that neuroscientists think this shaking behavior is included in the group of "most behaviors" that are governed by multiple genes.

This lack of information alone may not be enough to eliminate choice (B). However, it is enough to reject (B) in favor of (A).

All we know is that "researchers have identified THE gene Shaker, mutations in which cause flies to shake violently under anesthesia." If anything, this suggests that Shaker is in fact the only gene governing the shaking behavior. After all, the mutations that cause violent shaking take place within Shaker -- which has been apparently named after the behavior it causes. The earlier statement about most behaviors (not all behaviors) doesn't override the evidence about this particular behavior.

Choice (A) is already a much simpler and better supported choice, so let's stick with (A) and eliminate (B).

Quote:
C. A gene that, when mutated, causes an alteration in a specific normal behavior without making the organism ill

According to the passage, there's no denying that mutation in Shaker causes fruit flies to become ill, regardless of whether you're a neuroscientist or an ethologist. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
D. A gene of interest to ethologists but of no interest to neuroscientists

There's absolutely nothing in the passage to back this up or even suggest that neuroscientists has "no interest" in Shaker. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. A poor source of information about the nervous system

There's absolutely nothing in the passage to back this up or even suggest that neuroscientists consider Shaker to be "a poor source of information" about the nervous system. Eliminate (E).

I hope this helps Shake off your doubts about the OA! (Ha. I'm hilarious. Or not... :suspect )
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2019, 10:48
Can someone please explain the 1st and 2nd Question,
For 1st Ques , I cannot arrive at the answer and For 2nd Que it is clearly mentioned in the passage that "and not merely make the organism ill" but still the answer choice is C.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2019, 14:25
mzaid wrote:
Can someone please explain the 1st and 2nd Question,
For 1st Ques , I cannot arrive at the answer and For 2nd Que it is clearly mentioned in the passage that "and not merely make the organism ill" but still the answer choice is C.

Have you reviewed this explanation of the first question and this explanation of the second question?

Also, remember that an inference can be a fairly simple restatement of something given in the passage. For more on that point, check out this post.
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2019, 04:39
GMATPill wrote:
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.


What's wrong with B ? It's one of the genes that control single behavior
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Re: Researchers studying how genes control animal behavior have   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2019, 04:39
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