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# Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in

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22 Feb 2015, 21:20
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This question is part of the GMAT Club Critical Reasoning : Assumption" Revision Project.

Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

• Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

• The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

• Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

• No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

• The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.
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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2015, 01:09
OA is E.
Author`s conclusion is Delta-32 caused the survival. Any assumption made in cause and effect relationship could be author`s assumption. E is one of those assumptions, so E is correct OA.
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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2015, 04:15
Option E for me.

Kindly post the OE.

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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2015, 05:31
(E) because if it is not true than it negates the conclusion
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11 Mar 2015, 10:11
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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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29 Mar 2015, 19:48
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The researchers claim that Delta-32 prevents its carriers from contracting the
Plague. They support this claim by noting that a strikingly large percentage of
descendants of Plague survivors carry the mutation. We are asked to find an
assumption underlying the claim.

(A) The argument is specific to the relationship between Delta-32 and resistance
to the Plague. Other diseases are irrelevant.

(B) Again, the argument is specific to the relationship between Delta-32 and
resistance to the Plague. Other diseases are irrelevant.

(C) Delta-32 may have existed in its current form before the sixteenth century
and the merit of the argument would not change.

(D) The argument does not claim that Delta-32 prevents all bacteria-caused
disease.

(E) CORRECT. The researchers claim that Delta-32 prevented its carriers from
contracting the Plague on the basis of its presence in descendants of Plague
survivors. But it is theoretically possible that these descendants carry the
mutation Delta-32 because the Plague mutated the genes of their ancestors. In
order to claim that the mutation prevented the Plague, we must assume that the
Plague did not cause the mutation Delta-32.
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CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2016, 23:59
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Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

A. Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

B. The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

C. Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

D. No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

E. The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.
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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2016, 02:34
souvik101990 wrote:
Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

A. Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

B. The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

C. Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

D. No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

E. The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.

Option A: Any other disease. Out of Scope
Option B: Similarity to other diseases caused by bacteria. Irrelevant.
Option C: Form of Delta-32 not discussed in passage
Option D: "No one". Extreme assumption. May not be correct.

Answer IMO: E ( Correlated Causality. X causes Y but does Y cause X ?)

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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2016, 02:45
Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

Collusion that researchers arrived to is that because of mutation of Delta-32 , people survived the plague .
And they used rest of the argument to prove this point.

But what if Delta-32 is not the cause of survival?
What if it is the other way around? May be those people acquired this special mutation because of the Plague outbreak

Option (E) explains this. Therefore the answer
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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2016, 05:29
The argument states that the mutated Delta-32 gene acted as a defense against the bacteria causing Black Plague. The descendants tested from the English town where most of the people did not have the disease provides additional evidence to the above claim. The author assumes that the gene was already in the mutated form and the mutation could not have been a result of the disease. "E" rightly identifies the assumption. If "E" is reversed that is Plague caused the mutation then in the reversed form "E" attacks the conclusion.
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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2016, 12:56
correct answer is option E as other options are either out of scope or irrelevant to the concerned topic

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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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18 May 2016, 09:18
souvik101990 wrote:
Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

A. Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

B. The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

C. Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

D. No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

E. The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.

Conclusion: That Delta-32 mutation helped people to survive Black Plague
To support this Researcher said More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations.

so we can simplify the above statement
Delta 32 mutation------------------> people survived Black plague.

Assumption
Now think what if Black Plague causes Delta-32 mutation, then in that condition conclusion breaks down.
So the assumption must be opposite of this
And E says this
Hence E
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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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18 May 2016, 09:18
souvik101990 wrote:
Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

A. Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

B. The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

C. Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

D. No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

E. The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.

Conclusion: That Delta-32 mutation helped people to survive Black Plague
To support this Researcher said More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations.

so we can simplify the above statement
Delta 32 mutation------------------> people survived Black plague.

Assumption
Now think what if Black Plague causes Delta-32 mutation, then in that condition conclusion breaks down.
So the assumption must be opposite of this
And E says this
Hence E
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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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19 May 2016, 13:36
Hi,

please explain why D is wrong in detail.

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Re: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-centu [#permalink]

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19 May 2016, 22:26
DeepikaV wrote:
Hi,

please explain why D is wrong in detail.

Premises:

Researchers claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried Delta-32 which prevents Plague.
They tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague.
More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations.

What is the assumption? A missing necessary premise?

• No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

We are not assuming that people carrying Delta-32 can get no bacterial infection. All that the argument says is that Delta-32 prevents plague. It may be ineffective against other bacteria. We don't need to assume its effectiveness against all bacteria for our argument to hold.

• The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.

The higher proportion of Delta-32 in that town could be explained in two ways:
- They had Delta-32 and hence did not get plague. If more people had Delta-32, it means more people would have survived.
- Their system resisted plague and that led to the mutation. If more people resisted and survived, it would mean more mutation.

By concluding that first case must have taken place, we are assuming that second did not. So that is why (E) is an assumption.
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17 Jul 2016, 19:47
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16 Oct 2016, 07:02
Cause: Delta 32 mutation Effect: Prevention of plague
In cause and effect questions its assumed that effect does not lead to cause. Choice D points out that relation.

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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2016, 10:41
This argument's structure is on the line of "causation" - Delta 32 mutation -> caused -> survival of people during the Plague.

Option E is correct assumption as it negates possibility of "Reverse causation". If we negate this option, it means that reverse of the causal relation (mentioned in argument) is true, and thus breaks the argument.

One assumption for any argument that follows causation structure is to say that "Reverse causation" will not happen.

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Re: CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2016, 12:05
souvik101990 wrote:
Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in sixteenth-century England claim that certain people survived the epidemic because they carried a genetic mutation, known as Delta-32, that is known to prevent the bacteria that causes the Plague from overtaking the immune system. To support this hypothesis, the researchers tested the direct descendants of the residents of an English town where an unusually large proportion of people survived the Plague. More than half of these descendants tested positive for the mutation Delta-32, a figure nearly three times higher than that found in other locations. The researchers’ hypothesis is based on which of the following assumptions?

A. Delta-32 does not prevent a carrier from contracting any disease other than the Plague.

B. The Plague is not similar to other diseases caused by bacteria.

C. Delta-32 did not exist in its current form until the sixteenth century.

D. No one who tested positive for Delta-32 has ever contracted a disease caused by bacteria.

E. The Plague does not cause genetic mutations such as Delta-32.

Correct answer must be (E), try to negate the statement -

The Plague caused genetic mutations such as Delta-32 ----> This statement shatters the reasoning ...

Hence, (E) is correct , errors in other options marked in RED..
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CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2017, 17:59
Once again, test takers should never let outside knowledge affects the ability to think critically.
E is no doubt the correct answer. Ones should never lose time because of over-thinking

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CR Revision: Researchers studying the spread of the Black Plague in   [#permalink] 21 Jun 2017, 17:59

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