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BIOL1114

PREVIEW MATERIAL FOR Exam 1 - Spring 2018, February 12, 2018

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A recent article in Scientific American asserted that “Mitochondria generate more than 90% of a body’s energy.”

Mitochondria:

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To test the prediction that a cell with many mitochondria would produce ATP, carbon dioxide (CO2) or glucose at a higher rate than within a cell with few mitochondria, a scientist grows a culture of frog muscle cells and one of frog skin cells, all taken from the same frog embryo.  The scientist counts and calculates the average number of mitochondria in each cell type.


Two dogs of the same size and weight exhibit different behaviors when the temperature drops and the ground is covered by snow. Tess is active and playful, whereas Betsy is resting on its side curled into a "fur ball".

Dogs in snow:

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A scientist is conducting research on the metabolism of alligators, and wants to know how their physiology shifts while hibernating in frozen ponds. During mid-summer the alligators’ mean body temperature was 38°C, and their mean oxygen (O2) consumption was 0.072ppm/sec/g. The scientist collects the same data on hibernating alligators.

The scientist discovered that smaller alligators reach a minimum mean body temperature sooner after the start of a cold snap than larger alligators. The scientist notes that the mean O2 consumption of hibernating alligators is 0.016ppm/sec/g.

During cold snaps, American alligators (A. mississippiensis) have been observed sticking their snouts out of the water as it freezes, remaining frozen in place until the ice thaws.


The scientist maintains both the frogs used in experiments and mice in the laboratory.  To counteract heat loss, the mouse has a countercurrent exchange system in its legs.  Arrows indicate flow; darker (red) color = warmer


Gonzo, a large macaw parrot, lives in a cage in the corner of a warm kitchen. Gonzo enjoys a diet of sunflower seeds and Ritz crackers as an occasional treat.The kitchen door blows open, allowing a draft of cold air onto Gonzo’s cage. Gonzo’s formidable beak adeptly cracks open sunflower seeds and hard-shelled nuts. Gonzo’s treat of a Ritz cracker has lots of starch, which is made of glucose molecules.

Macaw:

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A species of plant produces rotenone and was not affected by insects, however nowadays a species of cricket can eat leaves of this plant and the plant regrows leaves quickly.

Plant:

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A scientist is conducting research on the metabolism of alligators, and wants to know how their physiology shifts while hibernating in frozen ponds. During mid-summer the alligators’ mean body temperature was 38°C, and their mean O2 consumption was 0.072ppm/sec/g. The scientist collects the same data on hibernating alligators. The scientist notes that the mean O2 consumption of hibernating alligators is 0.016ppm/sec/g. <-This paragraph is redundant from an earlier one.

Alligator in ice:

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When not hibernating, alligators hunt by floating near the surface of the water and ambushing animals, such as raccoons (Procyon lotor), which linger by the water’s edge. A biologist finds that alligators with bumpier backs, which look more like driftwood, have a greater likelihood of successfully ambushing raccoons. Conversely, raccoons with more sensitive vision are more likely to avoid these ambushes. After many generations, the scientist notes that, on average, alligators have bumpier backs and raccoons have better vision.

Alligator bumpy back :

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An alligator successfully catches and eats a raccoon. A raccoon successfully avoids being caught by an alligator, and stress hormones cause the raccoon’s metabolic rate to increase. A raccoon spitefully urinates into the alligator’s pond. The urine reaches the alligator, which is at the other side of the pond.

Unlucky raccoon:

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Lucky alligator:

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Diuretic drugs are used to treat high blood pressure by making portions of the nephron loop less permeable to water. You are contracted by a hospital to test a potential diuretic drug. Twenty patients are recruited. Ten are given the drug; ten are given a placebo (solution without the drug). The only reported side-effect of the drug was a mild fever in the experimental group that raised the average body temperature to 38o C (control group = 37o C).

Drug:

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A Dr. Ann A. Robic is studying the chemistry that allows fireflies produce light.  Before dissecting the insects, the scientist terminates them using cyanide, which binds to and inhibits the final electron acceptor complex in the electron transport chain (ETC), preventing the transfer of electrons to oxygen.

Firefly:

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To test the effect of certain inhibitors on light production, Rodionova and Petushkov (2006) added several inhibitors dissolved in methanol to a solution of luciferin and luciferase, the chemicals that produce the light, extracted from a new species of fluorescent earthworm. Below is a modified graph of their results.