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Science-based passages!

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Science-based passages!  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 26 Jul 2017, 08:28
Hi everyone!

Science-based passages - How you deal with them? and where can i find good passages for practice?

I went over several passages and found most of the science-based passages (biology, earth science, etc) very difficult and time consuming. I went through the Manhattan reading comprehension guide, which endorse to focus on the "big picture" rather than the details (asking why some content introduce, what is the purpose), but for me it seems that in most of the science-based passages, we truly need to understand the details (inference questions, strengthen/weaken questions, etc.). And it takes a lot of time. Do you have any recommendations how to handle those passages? Moreover - is there any credible source with a good practice materials in reading comprehension (and specifically regarding science)?

Thanks in advance!

Originally posted by oryahalom on 26 Jul 2017, 08:19.
Last edited by oryahalom on 26 Jul 2017, 08:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Science-based passages!  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 08:24
See if you can get your hands on "Scientific American" magazine. A very good resource for science based passages. Let me know if you need any help with this, oryahalom I might have a few editions with me.
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Science-based passages!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2017, 16:29
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oryahalom wrote:
Hi everyone!

Science-based passages - How you deal with them? and where can i find good passages for practice?

I went over several passages and found most of the science-based passages (biology, earth science, etc) very difficult and time consuming. I went through the Manhattan reading comprehension guide, which endorse to focus on the "big picture" rather than the details (asking why some content introduce, what is the purpose), but for me it seems that in most of the science-based passages, we truly need to understand the details (inference questions, strengthen/weaken questions, etc.). And it takes a lot of time. Do you have any recommendations how to handle those passages? Moreover - is there any credible source with a good practice materials in reading comprehension (and specifically regarding science)?

Thanks in advance!


OK, obviously not an expert but I will try my best. Let's take a look at an article that was posted on Scientific American today:

Scientific American wrote:
"Most truly blue blossoms overexpress genes that trigger the production of pigments called delphinidin-based anthocyanins. The trick to getting blue flowers in species that aren’t naturally that colour is inserting the right combination of genes into their genomes. Noda came close in a 2013 study when he and his colleagues found that adding a gene from a naturally blue Canterbury bells flower (Campanula medium) into the DNA of chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium) produced a violet-hued bloom.

Noda says he and his team expected that they would need to manipulate many more genes to get the blue chrysanthemum they produced in their latest study. But to their surprise, adding only one more borrowed gene from the naturally blue butterfly pea plant (Clitoria ternatea) was enough.

Anthocyanins can turn petals red, violet or blue, depending on the pigment’s structure. Noda and his colleagues found that genes from the Canterbury bells and butterfly pea altered the molecular structure of the anthocyanin in the chrysanthemum. When the modified pigments interacted with compounds called flavone glucosides, the resulting chrysanthemum flowers were blue. The team tested the wavelengths given off by their blossoms in several ways to ensure that the flowers were truly blue."


So terms like "delphinidin-based anthocyanins", "flavone glucosides", and the various latin names for plants may seem intimidating, but at the end of the day they can be simplified. Let's take "delphinidin-based anthocyanins" and just call them DBAs, and according to the article DBAs are just pigments that cause flowers to be blue. The same thing can be done with "flavone glucosides"; just call them FGs and know that they are what the modified pigments reacted with to turn the flowers that are typically another color blue.

So despite the jargon, at the end of the day the article describes how scientists inserted genes, from flowers with lots of DBAs, that interacted with the FGs of flowers that aren't typically blue, and turned them blue.

Maybe this style does not work for you, but it certainly works for me! Also, you can simply google "Scientific American" for more articles like the above.
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Science-based passages!   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2017, 16:29
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Science-based passages!

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