honors biology essay questions

Honors Biology Essay 2008-2009
(1) A portion of a specific DNA molecule consists of the following sequence of
nucleotide triplets:
This DNA sequence codes for the following short polypeptide:
methionine - leucine - glutamic acid - proline - arginine
Describe the steps in the synthesis of this polypeptide. What would be the effect of a
deletion or an addition in one of the DNA nucleotides? What would be the effect of a
substitution in one of the nucleotides?
(2) Discuss the evolution of both land animals and land plants from aquatic ancestors
with respect to their adaptations for:
a. water conservation
b. support
c. embryo protection
(3) In the vertebrates, changes in mechanisms of fertilization and embryonic development
have been of adaptive value. Compare these mechanisms and indicate their contribution
to the evolutionary success of the following animals:
a. fish
b. amphibian
c. bird
d. mammal
(4) Human beings have altered the environment in a variety of ways. Discuss the
beneficial and harmful modifications of the environment brought about by the
use of
the following:
a) Nuclear energy
b) Fertilizers and pesticides
c) Fossil fuels and metals
(5) Define, discuss, and give an example of each of the following close interactions of
a) Predator-prey relationships
b) Commensalism
c) Mutualism
(6) Cells transport substances across their membranes. Choose THREE of the following
four types of cellular transport.
Active Transport
Facilitated Diffusion
For each of the three transport types you choose,
Describe the transport process and explain how the organization of cell membranes
functions in the movement of specific molecules across membranes; and
Explain the significance of each type of transport to a specific cell (you may use
difference cell types as examples.)
(7) Using an example for each, discuss the following ecological concepts.
Energy flow between trophic levels.
Limiting factors.
Carrying capacity.
(8) Discuss the process of cell division in animals. Include a description of mitosis and
cytokinesis, and of the other phases of the cell cycle. Do not include meiosis.
Bonus! 10 points.
What do you personally think is the most interesting concept that you will take away
from this course and what aspect of genetics do you wish we had been able to spend more
time on
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