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# V05-23, V05-24

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Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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16 Sep 2014, 01:25
The field of exobiology seeks to understand the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe. Exobiology as a discipline emerged shortly after a 1953 experiment conducted at the University of Chicago that used electricity and simple gases to produce amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and, therefore, organic life as we know it. The experiment was conducted by a biology graduate student, Stephen Miller, in the lab of Harold Urey, a scientist who was already well-known for his theories on the composition of the early earth’s atmosphere. Miller and Urey put three gases believed to have been present in the early atmosphere – methane, ammonia, and hydrogen – into a closed system with an “ocean” of water at the bottom and ran electricity through the gases to simulate the lightening storms believed common on the early earth.At the end of a week, the scientists observed that basic organic compounds, including amino acids, had formed and dissolved in the water, where some of them had even combined to form more complex, though still non-living, substances.

Though parts of the Miller-Urey experiment have been thrown into question by more recent discoveries, exobiology remains a small, close-knit field of dedicated scientists with backgrounds in areas as diverse as biology, chemistry and physics. Much of the current research supported by NASA, the American space agency, focuses on four major areas.The first two speculate about the evolution of compounds necessary to organic life, whether that be the development in space of “biogenic,” or life-generating compounds, or the planetary evolution of compounds that are considered “prebiotic,” or pre-living. A third area seeks to trace steps of transformation from organic compounds to simple forms of life, and a fourth studies the evolution from simple organisms to the complex and diverse forms of life found on earth today.Investigations in all four areas involve a mixture of approaches: observation of simple life-forms, such as bacteria and viruses; examination of materials from space, such as asteroids, which seem to contain evidence of life; speculation based on data gathered from telescopes and space probes; and experimentation.
1. According to the passage, EACH of the following is an area of investigation for exobiology EXCEPT the

(a) development in space of compounds that have potential to generate life.
(b) evolution of simple life forms into more complex organisms.
(c) examination of objects from space to seek evidence of non-earthly life.
(e) interpretation of data gathered from outer space research.

2. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is true about the field of exobiology?

(a) Exobiology is more concerned with finding life on other planets than with determining the origin of life on earth.
(b) Research in exobiology is funded primarily by world governments.
(c) Research in exobiology combines knowledge from other branches of science such as chemistry and physics.
(d) Exobiology continues to follow the premises introduced by Miller and Urey.
(e) Exobiology is concerned only with life on earth and earth-like planets.

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16 Sep 2014, 01:25
Spoiler: :: Question V05-23 explanation
The answer to this question can be found by checking each statement one at a time against information stated explicitly in the passage.
1. Biogenic, or life-generating compounds, are mentioned in this line
2. This type of evolution is mentioned in this line (and a fourth studies the evolution from simple organisms to the complex and diverse forms of life found on earth today) as one of the areas of investigation for exobiology.
3. Examination of objects such as asteroids is mentioned in this line (examination of materials from space, such as asteroids, which seem to contain evidence of life).
4. The passage does not discuss the potential uses of organic compounds not found on earth.
5. This area of investigation is mentioned in this line (speculation based on data gathered from telescopes and space probes).
Spoiler: :: Question V05-24 explanation
An inference is drawn from stated information. To find the answer to this question, review what is stated explicitly in the passage about the field of exobiology. Check each answer choice against a positive statement involving exobiology and determine whether the stated inference can be appropriately drawn.
1. The first sentence states that exobiology seeks to understand the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe, but the passage does not state which areas of life are of most concern to exobiologists.
2. The passage states in this line that exobiological research is funded by NASA in the United States, but this is not sufficient evidence to conclude that all research is funded by world governments.
3. The first sentence of the second paragraph states that scientists working in exobiology can have backgrounds in biology, chemistry, and physics. It is reasonable to conclude, then, that the field combines knowledge and expertise from all of these areas.
4. On the contrary, the first sentence of the second paragraph suggests that Miller and Urey’s experiment has fallen out of favor.
5. This line states that exobiology is concerned with the development of biogenic compounds in space, and this line states that space data gathered from telescopes and space probes is also essential.

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13 Aug 2018, 16:17
I think this is a poor-quality question and the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate.
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Joined: 28 May 2018
Posts: 45
Location: India
Schools: Tuck '21, ISB '20, NTU '20
GMAT 1: 640 Q45 V35
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02 Sep 2018, 08:30
I think this is a poor-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation. The given explanation mostly refers to the section "Investigations in all four areas involve a mixture of approaches:..."

interpretation of data gathered from outer space research -> is an approach, not an area
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Re V05-23 &nbs [#permalink] 02 Sep 2018, 08:30
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# V05-23, V05-24

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