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# When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces

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When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 00:03
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Project SC Butler: Day 203: Sentence Correction (SC2)

When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make

(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make

(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making

(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make

(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making

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When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2019, 08:06
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When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

This is another interesting question, one from which a lot can be learned. From my personal perspective, I know that my understanding of subtle differences between some elements of GMAT SC goes a long way in the error analysis and the choice of the right answer. One of such key issues is the distinction between to+verb vs for+verbing.

An article written by e-gmat concludes that one should opt for to+verb (infinitive) if the intention of the action being modified is explicit, else we should opt for for+verbing, which offers an explanation for the modified action. This was somewhat helpful, but under what circumstances does one know that the purpose is explicit or not? This question lingered in my mind for quite a while until someway somehow I came across a similar distinction made by MGMAT between an infinitive and a verbing in MGMAT SC book. According to MGMAT, we should ascribe intention only to animate nouns and not to inanimate nouns. Just when I thought I have come across a rule of thumb, an exception was introduced by a sentence: Water droplets freeze to form snow. I was bewildered. According to MGMAT the sentence above is acceptable even though there is no intention. I am hoping this wouldn't be tested on the GMAT lol. Although my doubt is not completely cleared, I am better off. At least going forward whenever I see a split between to+verb (an infinitive) and for+verbing, I will check the subject of the verb being modified and confirm if the subject of the verb or doer of the action is inanimate or animate and whether it makes sense for this subject to have an explicit purpose. If the subject inanimate, then surely it can't have an explicit purpose, so we can safely eliminate that option. We are better of opting for for+verbing.

Based on the above, we can, therefore, eliminate A because the subject of the spell and carry is letters and letters is inanimate, so we can eliminate A since letter cannot have an intention although we are tricked with a very nice looking parallelism between the verbs spell and carry. This same reasoning can be extended to eliminate D and B also.

Now we will be left with C and E. Both use for making. At this point, one cannot depend on grammar, at least that's what I think lol. So we need to turn our attention to meaning. As rightly pointed out by many posts, the meaning in D is illogical. So the best answer is E since it is sensical. However, it is worth mentioning that if we use the split between for+verbing and to+verb, we can easily eliminate three options, making our work a bit easier.

Another reason that we can use to eliminate C is that present participles take their tense from the main verb they are linked to in a sentence. In C, the verb to which the verbing carrying and spelling are linked is gained. The verbing modifier denotes present continuous so linking it to a verb that performed an action in the past is problematic and unacceptable. We can eliminate C based on this. Comparing C with E, we notice that the use of a that-clause that spell out our tens of thousands of genes.... in E changed the verb tense to simple present tense spell hence the verbing carrying is in order. Thus E is the right answer.

PS: The purpose of my post is not to provide reasoning to the right answer as the earlier posts by @exc4liber Doer01 and mykrasovski have done an excellent job to narrow down to the right answer, but rather to share my perspectives on the split between for+verbing and to+verb. I won't say I am 100% clear on this distinction yet; the curiosity of my mind is such that I need to understand everything very clearly, and since I'm not at 100% clarity, all additional information, disagreements or otherwise are welcome.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make

(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make

(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making

(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make

(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making
##### General Discussion
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 00:05
All correct answers that contain good explanations will be awarded ONE KUDOS.

Exceptional answers may be "bumped" to Best Community Reply.

Kudos will be awarded after the OE is posted.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 02:12
1
What meaning is more logical: letters carry the instruction (A) or our tens of thousands of genes do (B)?

I go with A, but then I start thinking than B is more logical..

The only easy elimination is C and E ("for making"). I also eliminate D for the reason that -ING form is better after "as well as": A do X while/as well as doING Y.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 04:17
1
generis wrote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make
(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make
(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making
(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make
(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making

MEANING: Scientists gained access to the reference manual: the letters that spell out our genes carrying the instructions for making the tissues in our body.

NOTES: Who is carrying the instructions, the letters or the genes? I think it's the genes.

(A) "letters spell out our genes and [letters] carry out instructions" unintended;
(B) "which spell…" to introduce an essential modifier we need "that" not "which", improper;
(C) "letters spelling and carrying" imps the letters are continuously spelling and carrying, nonsense;
(D) "as well as" should be "and", improper;

Ans (E)
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When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 08:14
2
1
Quote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

Quick read through reveals that we deal with modifiers and parallelism. Also, as it happens in very many situations meaning plays a critical role. Let's try to simplify the sentence: Scientists gained access to a manual (that deals with human genome stuff): 3B "letters" that do something.

Okay, let's look at the options.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make
Technically, the parallelism is fine here. 3B letters that spell out genes and carry instructions. However, do letters carry the instructions? Hm... probably not. Rather, genes are likely to carry the instructions, while letters spell genes.

(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions [what kind of instructions?] to make
3B letters [what kind of letters?] which spell out genes [which genes?], which carry the instruction to make all the tissues blah-blah... Makes sense. Keep.

(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making
This option has exact same meaning problem that we found in (A), i.e. 3B letters do not carry instructions for making tissues, organs, and so on.

(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make
One can notice that this option is very similar in structure to option (A): as well as is a conjunction. That alone should make one very careful. It is not possible to pick two answer choices, so it is likely that both (A) and (D) are incorrect.

(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making
3B letters [what kind of letters?] that spell out genes [which genes?] carrying the instructions [what kind of instructions?] for making all the tissues blah-blah... This option also makes sense. Hmm....

To be honest, both (B) and (E) look very similar. I vote for (E) because it uses an essential modifier to describe genes. Everything that goes after the colon (3B letters ...) is a modifier. In my subjective opinion, it is not elegant to use non-essential modifier within a modifier.

This is a tricky question. I spent 2 minutes, and picked (C) because I was confused by two pairs (A) and (D) and (B) and (E). After thinking about the problem, I changed my mind.

Look forward to reading the OE!
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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12 Dec 2019, 10:27
2
Quote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

Hi,
IMO E.
What an amazing question.
Option A looks just fine until you get to option E that changes the meaning for correct reasons and suddenly A is not correct anymore.

Quote:
(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make
Missing another that after the parallel marker-and.

Quote:
(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make
Misses a parallel marker for the second modifier.

Quote:
(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making
If we use this option, the sentence would mean that its the letters that do the spelling and carrying.
Second, I am not sure about whether the usage of instructions for making is correct. I think it should be to make.--(I am so going to ignore it later)

Quote:
(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make
Ok, letters do two things- they spell out... as well as carry the instruction. No problem there. keep it.

Quote:
(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making
Now, this is interesting. It is the genes that are letters and they carry the instructions for making.... More meaningful than D.

OE will be fun.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2019, 02:37
Oh-oh. I chose the incorrect answer of (A).

In order to get this question right, I guess the test taker must have some basic understanding of Genes. It seems that Genes carry the instructions to make various tissues, organs, etc. But, if one is ignorant of this fact, they (<- Singular they. ) may choose A.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2019, 05:44
Whoops, I thought between "to make" and "for making"
to make wins, was left with option A,B and D.

B as it made more sense then others.

however, I have one question... to you generis
as the generis are carrying instructions, they seem to have purpose...doesnt "to make" makes more sense than "for making". I think "to verb" are used to show intent or purpose.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2019, 05:15
eakabuah wrote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

This is another interesting question, one from which a lot can be learned. From my personal perspective, I know that my understanding of subtle differences between some elements of GMAT SC goes a long way in the error analysis and the choice of the right answer. One of such key issues is the distinction between to+verb vs for+verbing.

An article written by e-gmat concludes that one should opt for to+verb (infinitive) if the intention of the action being modified is explicit, else we should opt for for+verbing, which offers an explanation for the modified action. This was somewhat helpful, but under what circumstances does one know that the purpose is explicit or not? This question lingered in my mind for quite a while until someway somehow I came across a similar distinction made by MGMAT between an infinitive and a verbing in MGMAT SC book. According to MGMAT, we should ascribe intention only to animate nouns and not to inanimate nouns. Just when I thought I have come across a rule of thumb, an exception was introduced by a sentence: Water droplets freeze to form snow. I was bewildered. According to MGMAT the sentence above is acceptable even though there is no intention. I am hoping this wouldn't be tested on the GMAT lol. Although my doubt is not completely cleared, I am better off. At least going forward whenever I see a split between to+verb (an infinitive) and for+verbing, I will check the subject of the verb being modified and confirm if the subject of the verb or doer of the action is inanimate or animate and whether it makes sense for this subject to have an explicit purpose. If the subject inanimate, then surely it can't have an explicit purpose, so we can safely eliminate that option. We are better of opting for for+verbing.

Based on the above, we can, therefore, eliminate A because the subject of the spell and carry is letters and letters is inanimate, so we can eliminate A since letter cannot have an intention although we are tricked with a very nice looking parallelism between the verbs spell and carry. This same reasoning can be extended to eliminate D and B also.

Now we will be left with C and E. Both use for making. At this point, one cannot depend on grammar, at least that's what I think lol. So we need to turn our attention to meaning. As rightly pointed out by many posts, the meaning in D is illogical. So the best answer is E since it is sensical. However, it is worth mentioning that if we use the split between for+verbing and to+verb, we can easily eliminate three options, making our work a bit easier.

Another reason that we can use to eliminate C is that present participles take their tense from the main verb they are linked to in a sentence. In C, the verb to which the verbing carrying and spelling are linked is gained. The verbing modifier denotes present continuous so linking it to a verb that performed an action in the past is problematic and unacceptable. We can eliminate C based on this. Comparing C with E, we notice that the use of a that-clause that spell out our tens of thousands of genes.... in E changed the verb tense to simple present tense spell hence the verbing carrying is in order. Thus E is the right answer.

PS: The purpose of my post is not to provide reasoning to the right answer as the earlier posts by @exc4liber Doer01 and mykrasovski have done an excellent job to narrow down to the right answer, but rather to share my perspectives on the split between for+verbing and to+verb. I won't say I am 100% clear on this distinction yet; the curiosity of my mind is such that I need to understand everything very clearly, and since I'm not at 100% clarity, all additional information, disagreements or otherwise are welcome.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make

(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make

(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making

(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make

(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making

Bravo! good post.

I think for those who are unaware of the differences between "to make" vs "for making", its better to leave that split and focus on meaning.

Only E and B give correct meaning. however B has an unusual structure. so we can go ahead with "E"

Just our of curiosity generis I would like to know what is wrong in B apart from "to make" ?
I agree "whichX,which" is something I have never seen correct on GMAT, but "which" correctly refers to the previous noun.
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2019, 14:39
eakabuah

Kudos to you!

I fell for the nice sweet Parallelism in option A.

Nice work!
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2020, 00:23
Look to me it was quite hard though but got right in 2.30 min, E gives proper meaning.

1. Scientist got some letters that carry our genes information for making us. B also gives the same meaning but it is for sure not right in using which
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2020, 08:59
Quote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

breaking down the sentence and understand the meaning of the sentence.
scientists had sequenced human genome last year and gained access to some kind of manual.
this manual has 3 billion letters (just as an additional info A, T, G and C which are nucleic acids; i'm a doc so got to know these). the arrangement of these letters makes our genome. so this genome/genes carry the instructions for something in our body..
Coming to options based on our understanding,
Quote:
(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make

based on our understanding, the genes carry the instructions. but according to this the letters carry the instructions.
A is out.

Quote:
(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making
(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make

same as A.
eliminate C and D

clubbing the last two choices
Quote:
(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make
(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making

both gives the idea that the genes carry the instructions.
the difference lies in the last part.
to make- denotes an intention. the genes doesn't have any intention. they just express themselves according to the sequence.
i had gone with the for making.
Hence E is the right answer
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2020, 11:48
Quote:
When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained access to the full text of Creation's reference manual: the 3 billion biochemical 'letters' that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make all the tissues, organs, hormones, and enzymes in our body.

(A) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes and carry the instructions to make

(B) which spell out our tens of thousands of genes, which carry the instructions to make

(C) spelling out our tens of thousands of genes and carrying instructions for making

(D) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes as well as carry the instructions to make

(E) that spell out our tens of thousands of genes carrying the instructions for making

I remember this nasty question, which tricked me on nice sweet Parallelism in option A.

That's why meaning will almost always prevail. In this case option E over option A.

Feel free to tag me if someone has any questions.!
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Re: When the human genome was sequenced last year, scientists gained acces   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2020, 11:48
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