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# Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which

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Manager
Status: GMAT - Pulling Quant and Verbal together
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Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2019, 22:32
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95% (hard)

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31% (01:45) correct 69% (01:52) wrong based on 244 sessions

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Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

(A) grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting

(B) grows outward to search for its food sources, and the slime mold retracts

(C) grows outward, searching for its food sources and retracting

(D) searches for its food sources by growing outward and retracts

(E) searches for its food sources and grows outward, retracting

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Manager
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Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 09:29
6
1
neha283 wrote:
MikeScarn wrote:
Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

(A) grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting

(B) grows outward to search for its food sources, and the slime mold retracts

(C) grows outward, searching for its food sources and retracting

(D) searches for its food sources by growing outward and retracts

(E) searches for its food sources and grows outward, retracting

Hi,
Can anyone tell why option D is correct and not C?

Option D says that it does 2 things (2 verbs joined with and) - searches and retracts.
From what i understand from the question - it searched by
1. growing outwards while
2. retracting from everything but the most efficient route

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.

Thanks!

Hi neha283 santorasantu , this is a tough one. I'll try to attack this question from a couple angles. Hopefully one of them will suffice.

Meaning:
Let's read the sentence without the modifier that is surrounded by comma's.

"Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns."

Okay, so scientists are trying to improve their understanding of how to optimize traffic patterns. Cool. How do they plan on bettering their understanding? They're going to look at slime mold.

Why look at slime mold? Well, slime mold finds food by growing outwards. Once the mold finds some food, it then retracts from everything except the most efficient route to the food.

Let's check out some answer choices.

MikeScarn wrote:
(A) Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

The mold grows outward by retracting? That's impossible. Is it growing outward or retracting? Meaning error.

MikeScarn wrote:
(C) Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which grows outward, searching for its food sources and retracting from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

This once is icky. We added another comma here, so we can't remove the whole modifier to have that nice and clean sentence that I wrote at the beginning of this post.

"which grows outward" is clearly modifying "slime mold." Cool. I'm good with that.

What is "searching for its food sources and retracting from everything but the most efficient route" modifying? Is it modifying "slime mold"? It is modifying "Scientists?"

Further, The slime mold grows outward and then retracts, but growing outward does not cause it to retract.

MikeScarn wrote:
(D) Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which searches for its food sources by growing outward and retracts from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

This one doesn't sound good to me either, but who cares? GMAC sure doesn't. It doesn't sound good because of the verb forms "searches for X by growing outward and retracts from Y." If we remove that Prepositional phrase: "for its food sources by growing outward," then it will sound a lot better.

We're looking great from a parallelism point of view. "searches for X and retracts from Y"

This works great from a meaning perspective because it shows that the slime mold searches by growing outward and retracts from everything except the best route. These are two independent actions. They do not grow outward and retract at the same time.

I hope this helps someone.
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##### General Discussion
Manager
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 03:52
MikeScarn wrote:
Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting from everything but the most efficient route, in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns.

(A) grows outward to search for its food sources by retracting

(B) grows outward to search for its food sources, and the slime mold retracts

(C) grows outward, searching for its food sources and retracting

(D) searches for its food sources by growing outward and retracts

(E) searches for its food sources and grows outward, retracting

Hi,
Can anyone tell why option D is correct and not C?

Option D says that it does 2 things (2 verbs joined with and) - searches and retracts.
From what i understand from the question - it searched by
1. growing outwards while
2. retracting from everything but the most efficient route

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.

Thanks!
Intern
Joined: 19 Aug 2018
Posts: 32
Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 07:03
neha283 wrote:
Hi,
Can anyone tell why option D is correct and not C?

Option D says that it does 2 things (2 verbs joined with and) - searches and retracts.
From what i understand from the question - it searched by
1. growing outwards while
2. retracting from everything but the most efficient route

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.

Thanks!

According to me, the problem with option C is that it breaks the continuity of Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold,...,in an effort to better understand how to optimize traffic patterns
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 07:13
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2019, 21:28
Slime mold -- retracts from everything

Then, choice B is just redundant in its use of slime mold again. Hence, choice D.
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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06 May 2019, 05:38
On a separate note, kinda confused by the "but", can anyone explain the use of "but" here?
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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06 May 2019, 06:49
1
but is used to depict except here.
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Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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06 May 2019, 11:37
1
reneew1024 wrote:
On a separate note, kinda confused by the "but", can anyone explain the use of "but" here?
To add to EducationAisle 's reply, this but is actually a preposition and not a conjunction. We can also use apart from in addition to except to see what this but means. For example:

The dictator's demands were anything but simple. ← This is another way of saying that the demands were not simple ("they were anything except/apart from simple").
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Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which  [#permalink]

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08 May 2019, 06:14
please explain how to eliminate options and isn't there any pronoun error in D; shouldn't "which " follow 'and'.
Re: Scientists are analyzing the movement patterns of slime mold, which   [#permalink] 08 May 2019, 06:14
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