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# Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a

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Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2019, 13:25
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Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a protein coat (the capsid), are difficult to resist. Unable to reproduce outside a living cell, viruses reproduce only by subverting the genetic mechanisms of a host cell. In one kind of viral life cycle, the virus first binds to the cell's surface, then penetrates the cell and sheds its capsid.'The exposed viral nucleic acid produces new viruses from the contents of the cell. Finally, the cell releases the viral progeny, and a new cell cycle of infection begins. The human body responds to a viral infection by producing antibodies: complex, highly specific proteins that selectively bind to foreign molecules such as viruses. An antibody can either interfere with a virus' ability to bind a cell or can prevent it from releasing its nucleic acid.

Unfortunately, the common cold, produced most often by rhinoviruses, is intractable to antiviral defense. Humans have difficulty resisting colds because rhinoviruses are so diverse, including at least 100 strains. The strains differ most in the molecular structure of the proteins in their capsids. Since disease-fighting antibodies bind to the capsid, an antibody developed to protect against one rhinovirus strain is useless against other strains. Different antibodies must be produced for each strain.

A defense against rhinoviruses might nonetheless succeed by exploiting hidden similarities among the rhinovirus strains. For example, most rhinovirus strains bind to the same kind of molecule (delta-receptors) on a cell's surface when they attack human cells. Colonno, taking advantage of these common receptors, devised a strategy for blocking the attachment of rhinoviruses to their appropriate receptors. Rather than fruitlessly searching for an antibody that would bind to all rhinoviruses, Colonno realized that an antibody binding to the common receptors of a human cell would prevent rhinoviruses from initiating an infection. Because human cells normally do not develop antibodies to components of their own cells. Colonno injected human cells into mice, which did produce an antibody to the common receptor. In isolated human cells, this antibody proved to be extraordinarily effective at thwarting the rhinovirus. Moreover, when the antibody was given to chimpanzees, it inhibited rhinoviral growth, and in 45 humans it lessened both the severity and duration of cold symptoms.

Another possible defense against rhinoviruses was proposed by Rossman, who described rhinoviruses' detailed molecular structure. Rossman showed oar that protein sequences common to all rhinovirus strains lie at the base of a deep "canyon" scoring each face of the capsid. The narrow opening of this canyon possibly prevents the relatively large antibody molecules from binding to the common sequence, but smaller molecules might reach it. Among these smaller, nonantibody molecules, some might bind to the common sequence, lock the nucleic acid in its coat, and thereby prevent the virus from reproducing.
The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) discuss viral mechanisms and possible ways of circumventing certain kinds of those mechanisms
(B) challenge recent research on how rhinoviruses bind to receptors on the surfaces of cells
(C) suggest future research on rhinoviral growth in chimpanzees
(D) defend a controversial research program whose purpose is to discover the molecular structure of rhinovirus capsids
(E) evaluate a dispute between advocates of two theories about the rhinovirus life cycle

Spoiler: :: OA
A

It can be inferred from the passage that the protein sequences of the capsid that vary most among strains of rhinovirus are those

(A) at the base of the "canyon"
(B) outside of the "canyon"
(C) responsible for producing nucleic acid
(D) responsible for preventing the formation of delta-receptors
(E) preventing the capsid from releasing its nucleic acid

Spoiler: :: OA
B

It can be inferred from the passage that a cell lacking delta-receptors will be

(A) unable to prevent the rhinoviral nucleic acid from shedding its capsid
(B) defenseless against most strains of rhinovirus
(C) unable to release the viral progeny it develops after infection
(D) protected from new infections by antibodies to the rhinovirus
(E) resistant to infection by most strains of rhinovirus

Spoiler: :: OA
E

Which of the following research strategies for developing a defense against the common cold would the author be likely to find most promising?

(A) Continuing to look for a general antirhinoviral antibody
(B) Searching for common cell-surface receptors humans and mice
(C) Continuing to look for similarities among the various strains of rhinovirus
(D) Discovering how the human body produces antibodies in response to a rhinoviral infection
(E) Determining the detailed molecular structure of the nucleic acid of a rhinovirus

Spoiler: :: OA
C

It can be inferred from the passage that the purpose of Colonno's experiments was to determine whether

(A) chimpanzees and humans can both be infected by rhinoviruses
(B) chimpanzees can produce antibodies to human cell-surface receptors
(C) a rhinovirus' nucleic acid might be locked in its protein coat
(D) binding antibodies to common receptors could produce a possible defense against rhinoviruses
(E) rhinoviruses are vulnerable to human antibodies

Spoiler: :: OA
D

According to the passage, Rossman's research suggests that

(A) a defense against rhinoviruses might exploit structural similarities among the strains of rhinovirus
(B) human cells normally do not develop antibodies to components of their own cells
(C) the various strains of rhinovirus differ in their ability to bind to the surface of a host cell
(D) rhinovirus versatility can work to the benefit of researchers trying to find a useful antibody
(E) Colonno's research findings are probably invalid

Spoiler: :: OA
A

According to the passage, in order for a given antibody to bind to a given rhinoviral capsid, which of the following must be true?

(A) The capsid must have a deep "canyon" on each of its faces.
(B) The antibody must be specific to the molecular structure of the particular capsid.
(C) The capsid must separate from its nucleic acid before binding to an antibody.
(D) The antibody must bind to a particular cell-surface receptor before it can bind to a rhinovirus.
(E) The antibody must first enter a cell containing the particular rhinovirus.

Spoiler: :: OA
B

NOTE: passage from official GRE Material.

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Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2019, 15:21
2
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Great passage, got 5 out of 7 correct in 6 mins 10 secs. Gotta give myself some leeway given how sleepy I felt reading all the science, but yes - quite a lot of information about the common cold - can't wait to go and brag about this to my friends. Thanks, carcass

The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) discuss viral mechanisms and possible ways of circumventing certain kinds of those mechanisms Perfect - feels good when you get the correct answer as option A this is precisely what the passage does.
(B) challenge recent research on how rhinoviruses bind to receptors on the surfaces of cells Nothing challenged here.
(C) suggest future research on rhinoviral growth in chimpanzees no future research is suggested.
(D) defend a controversial research program whose purpose is to discover the molecular structure of rhinovirus capsids Vague options which are easy to discard ( if you need to do that at all given how glaringly obvious option A is)
(E) evaluate a dispute between advocates of two theories about the rhinovirus life cycle no dispute at all!

Okay - sudden jump to the end of the passage - need to realize that the author suggests that common sequences of proteins occur at the base of a narrow canyon and are unreachable to the antibodies - so by implication the most varied ones are at the top - GREAT QUESTION!
It can be inferred from the passage that the protein sequences of the capsid that vary most among strains of rhinovirus are those

(A) at the base of the "canyon" TRAP - coz it is verbatim from the passage and given the dearth of possible correct options one might fall for it ( I certainly did )
(B) outside of the "canyon" Perfect answer to an awesome question!
(C) responsible for producing nucleic acid palpably wrong
(D) responsible for preventing the formation of delta-receptors not quite there - delta receptors are on the cells and this is about the virus
(E) preventing the capsid from releasing its nucleic acid not quite - nothing in the virus prevents the release of the capsid as the survival of the virus depends on releasing the capsid once inside the host cell

The receptors to which the rhinovirus binds are delta receptors - so a cell without those could not be a host to the virus - simplest of the questions.
It can be inferred from the passage that a cell lacking delta-receptors will be

(A) unable to prevent the rhinoviral nucleic acid from shedding its capsid
(B) defenseless against most strains of rhinovirus
(C) unable to release the viral progeny it develops after infection
(D) protected from new infections by antibodies to the rhinovirus
(E) resistant to infection by most strains of rhinovirus Perfect! For the reasons mentioned above - we are practically searching for this option.
Other options are trivially wrong according to me

Newer antibodies definitely is not the way forward according to the author - the first study described how mice became immune and also chimps became partially immune due to hindering the reception of the virus into host cell. Second study talked about non-antibody type cells preferably small enough to be able to enter the canyon to go and destroy the virus by binding to it and the final line of the passage is a clue
Which of the following research strategies for developing a defense against the common cold would the author be likely to find most promising?

(A) Continuing to look for a general antirhinoviral antibody
(B) Searching for common cell-surface receptors humans and mice TRAP - related to the first experiment - but first experiment does not mention this.
(C) Continuing to look for similarities among the various strains of rhinovirus Perfect so that the small nonanti-body small sized cells can go into the canyon and help nip the problem in the bud
(D) Discovering how the human body produces antibodies in response to a rhinoviral infection
(E) Determining the detailed molecular structure of the nucleic acid of a rhinovirus
Others trivially wrong

It can be inferred from the passage that the purpose of Colonno's experiments was to determine whether

(A) chimpanzees and humans can both be infected by rhinoviruses
(B) chimpanzees can produce antibodies to human cell-surface receptors
(C) a rhinovirus' nucleic acid might be locked in its protein coat
(D) binding antibodies to common receptors could produce a possible defense against rhinoviruses if you cannot bind antibody to the virus - bind it to the common receptors of the cells - this is exactly what the first study does
(E) rhinoviruses are vulnerable to human antibodies They are not - that is why the cold is so common.
Other options are easy to discard.

second study about the base of canyon weakness in the virus' armor
According to the passage, Rossman's research suggests that

(A) a defense against rhinoviruses might exploit structural similarities among the strains of rhinovirus Yup - this is a general way to put it.
(B) human cells normally do not develop antibodies to components of their own cells TRUE but irrelevant to the study
(C) the various strains of rhinovirus differ in their ability to bind to the surface of a host cell not true - all strains bind successfully and are structurally similar (with deep small canyon)
(D) rhinovirus versatility can work to the benefit of researchers trying to find a useful antibody We havve to work despite that - it does not benefit
(E) Colonno's research findings are probably invalid Blatantly wrong

Vague detail question but one that has been mentioned in the first study
According to the passage, in order for a given antibody to bind to a given rhinoviral capsid, which of the following must be true?

(A) The capsid must have a deep "canyon" on each of its faces. confusion and trap answer - this is with reference to the second study and this is not a helpful thing for antibody to bind but rather prevents it
(B) The antibody must be specific to the molecular structure of the particular capsid. Verbatim from the passage
(C) The capsid must separate from its nucleic acid before binding to an antibody. completely different thing - happens once the virus is inside the host
(D) The antibody must bind to a particular cell-surface receptor before it can bind to a rhinovirus. irrelevant - given the question, we are talking about binding to the virus
(E) The antibody must first enter a cell containing the particular rhinovirus. wrong!

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Re: Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2019, 23:13

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

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Re: Viruses, infectious particles consisting of nucleic acid packaged in a   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2019, 23:13
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