Living Environment August 2004

Living Environment August 2004 Questions Answer Keys

The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Tuesday, August 17, 2004 — 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., only
Student Name _____________________________________________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________

Directions (1–30): For each statement or question, write on the separate answer sheet the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question.

1. A scientist is planning to carry out an experiment on the effect of heat on the function of a certain enzyme. Which would not be an appropriate first step?

  • (1) doing research in a library
  • (2) having discussions with other scientists
  • (3) completing a data table of expected results
  • (4) using what is already known about the enzyme
Answer: (3) completing a data table of expected results

2. A partial food web is represented in the diagram below.

Living Environment August 2004

Letter X most likely represents

  • (1) autotrophs
  • (2) carnivores
  • (3) decomposers
  • (4) parasites
Answer: (1) autotrophs 

3. The size of a mouse population in a natural ecosystem tends to remain relatively constant due to

  • (1) the carrying capacity of the environment
  • (2) the lack of natural predators
  • (3) cycling of energy
  • (4) increased numbers of decomposers
Answer: (1) the carrying capacity of the environment  

4. A single gene mutation results from

  • (1) a change in a base sequence in DNA
  • (2) recombination of traits
  • (3) the failure of chromosomes to separate
  • (4) blocked nerve messages
Answer: (1) a change in a base sequence in DNA  

5. In the diagram of a single-celled organism shown below, the arrows indicate various activities taking place.

Living Environment August 2004

Which systems perform these same activities in humans?

  • (1) digestive, circulatory, and immune
  • (2) excretory, respiratory, and reproductive
  • (3) respiratory, excretory, and digestive
  • (4) respiratory, nervous, and endocrine
Answer: (3) respiratory, excretory, and digestive  

6. Muscle cells in athletes often have more mitochondria than muscle cells in nonathletes. Based on this observation, it can be inferred that the muscle cells in athletes

  • (1) have a smaller demand for cell proteins than the muscle cells of nonathletes
  • (2) reproduce less frequently than the muscle cells of nonathletes
  • (3) have nuclei containing more DNA than nuclei in the muscle cells of nonathletes
  • (4) have a greater demand for energy than the muscle cells of nonathletes
Answer: (4) have a greater demand for energy than the muscle cells of nonathletes  

7. Some mammals have genes for fur color that produce pigment only when the outside temperature is above a certain level. This pigment production is an example of how the environment of an organism can

  • (1) destroy certain genes
  • (2) cause new mutations to occur
  • (3) stop the process of evolution
  • (4) influence the expression of certain genes
Answer: (4) influence the expression of certain genes  

8. Most of the hereditary information that determines the traits of an organism is located in

  • (1) only those cells of an individual produced by meiosis
  • (2) the nuclei of body cells of an individual
  • (3) certain genes in the vacuoles of body cells
  • (4) the numerous ribosomes in certain cells
Answer: (2) the nuclei of body cells of an individual  

9. The arrows in the diagram below illustrate processes in the life of a species that reproduces sexually.

Living Environment August 2004

Which processes result directly in the formation of cells with half the amount of genetic material that is characteristic of the species?

  • (1) 1 and 2
  • (2) 2 and 3
  • (3) 3 and 4
  • (4) 4 and 5
Answer: (1) 1 and 2 

10. Changes in the genetic code of a human can be transmitted to offspring if they occur in

  • (1) cancer cells
  • (2) gametes
  • (3) cell membranes
  • (4) antibodies
Answer: (2) gametes  

11. The development of specialized tissues and organs in a multicellular organism directly results from

  • (1) cloning
  • (2) differentiation
  • (3) meiosis
  • (4) evolution
Answer: (2) differentiation  

12. A gene that codes for resistance to glyphosate, a biodegradable weedkiller, has been inserted into certain plants. As a result, these plants will be more likely to

  • (1) produce chemicals that kill weeds growing near them
  • (2) die when exposed to glyphosate
  • (3) convert glyphosate into fertilizer
  • (4) survive when glyphosate is applied to them
Answer: (4) survive when glyphosate is applied to them 

13. A biotechnology firm has produced tobacco plants that synthesize human antibodies that prevent bacterial diseases. One of the first steps in the production of these plants required

  • (1) using natural selection to increase the survival of antibody-producing tobacco plants
  • (2) inserting human DNA segments into the cells of tobacco plants
  • (3) using selective breeding to increase the number of antibody genes in tobacco plants
  • (4) growing tobacco plants in soil containing a specific fertilizer
Answer: (2) inserting human DNA segments into the cells of tobacco plants

14. Which characteristics of a population would most likely indicate the lowest potential for evolutionary change in that population?

  • (1) sexual reproduction and few mutations
  • (2) sexual reproduction and many mutations
  • (3) asexual reproduction and few mutations
  • (4) asexual reproduction and many mutations
Answer: (3) asexual reproduction and few mutations

15. The theory of biological evolution includes the concept that

  • (1) species of organisms found on Earth today have adaptations not always found in earlier species
  • (2) fossils are the remains of present-day species and were all formed at the same time
  • (3) individuals may acquire physical characteristics after birth and pass these acquired characteristics on to their offspring
  • (4) the smallest organisms are always eliminated by the larger organisms within the ecosystem
Answer: (1) species of organisms found on Earth today have adaptations not always found in earlier species 

16. A diagram of human female reproductive structures is shown below.

Living Environment August 2004

Which structure is correctly paired with its function?

  • (1) A — releases estrogen and progesterone
  • (2) B — produces and releases the egg
  • (3) C — provides the usual site for fertilization
  • (4) D — nourishes a developing embryo
Answer: (2) B — produces and releases the egg

17. The use of a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to act against a specific pathogen is valuable in maintaining homeostasis because

  • (1) once the body produces chemicals to combat one type of virus, it can more easily make antibiotics
  • (2) the body can digest the weakened microbes and use them as food
  • (3) the body will be able to fight invasions by the same type of microbe in the future
  • (4) the more the immune system is challenged, the better it performs
Answer: (3) the body will be able to fight invasions by the same type of microbe in the future

18. Some homeowners mow their lawns during the summer, collect the grass clippings and dispose of them in a landfill. Instead of taking the clippings to a landfill, a more ecologically sound procedure would be to

  • (1) leave the clippings to decompose in the lawn to form materials that enrich the soil
  • (2) spray the clippings in the lawn with imported microbes that use them for food
  • (3) burn the clippings and add the ashes to the soil
  • (4) throw the clippings into a stream or river to provide extra food for organisms living there
Answer: (1) leave the clippings to decompose in the lawn to form materials that enrich the soil

19. Which statement does not describe an example of a feedback mechanism that maintains homeostasis?

  • (1) The guard cells close the openings in leaves, preventing excess water loss from a plant.
  • (2) White blood cells increase the production of antigens during an allergic reaction.
  • (3) Increased physical activity increases heart rate in humans.
  • (4) The pancreas releases insulin, helping humans to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Answer: (2) White blood cells increase the production of antigens during an allergic reaction.

20. Cattail plants in freshwater swamps in New York State are being replaced by purple loosestrife plants. The two species have very similar environmental requirements. This observation best illustrates

  • (1) variations within a species
  • (2) dynamic equilibrium
  • (3) random recombination
  • (4) competition between species
Answer: (4) competition between species

21. One biotic factor that limits the carrying capacity of any habitat is the

  • (1) availability of water
  • (2) level of atmospheric oxygen
  • (3) activity of decomposers
  • (4) amount of soil erosion
Answer: (3) activity of decomposers 

22. A greater stability of the biosphere would most likely result from

  • (1) decreased finite resources
  • (2) increased deforestation
  • (3) increased biodiversity
  • (4) decreased consumer populations
Answer: (3) increased biodiversity

23. Which factor is primarily responsible for the destruction of the greatest number of habitats?

  • (1) human population growth
  • (2) decreased use of renewable resources
  • (3) spread of predatory insects
  • (4) epidemic diseases
Answer: (1) human population growth

24. When a particular white moth lands on a white birch tree, its color has a high adaptive value. If the birch trees become covered with black soot, the white color of this particular moth in this environment would most likely

  • (1) retain its adaptive value
  • (2) increase in adaptive value
  • (3) change to a more adaptive black color
  • (4) decrease in adaptive value
Answer: (4) decrease in adaptive value

25. A variation causes the production of an improved variety of apple. What is the best method to use to obtain additional apple trees of this variety in the shortest period of time?

  • (1) selective breeding
  • (2) natural selection
  • (3) asexual reproduction
  • (4) hormone therapy
Answer: (3) asexual reproduction

26. A new automobile manufacturing plant is opening in a certain town. It will have some negative environmental impacts. This is a trade-off that the town officials had to consider carefully before giving final approval. They most likely gave their approval because the negative impacts would be offset by the

  • (1) release of pollutants into the environment
  • (2) creation of new employment opportunities
  • (3) decrease of property values in the area around the plant
  • (4) increase of automobile traffic in the area around the plant
Answer: (2) creation of new employment opportunities

27. In most states, automobiles must be inspected every year to make sure that the exhaust fumes they emit do not contain high levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide. This process is a way humans attempt to

  • (1) control the water cycle
  • (2) recycle nutrients from one ecosystem to another
  • (3) control energy flow in natural ecosystems
  • (4) maintain the quality of the atmosphere
Answer: (4) maintain the quality of the atmosphere

28 The characteristics of a developing fetus are most influenced by

  • (1) gene combinations and their expression in the embryo
  • (2) hormone production by the father
  • (3) circulating levels of white blood cells in the placenta
  • (4) milk production in the mother
Answer: (1) gene combinations and their expression in the embryo

29. The importation of organisms such as the Japanese beetle and gypsy moth to areas where they have no natural enemies best illustrates

  • (1) the use of abiotic factors to reduce pest species
  • (2) the selection of species to mate with each other to produce a new variety
  • (3) attempts by humans to protect extinct species
  • (4) a human activity that disrupts existing ecosystems
Answer: (4) a human activity that disrupts existing ecosystems

30. The chromosome content of a skin cell that is about to form two new skin cells is represented in the diagram below.

Living Environment August 2004

Which diagram best represents the chromosomes that would be found in the two new skin cells produced as a result of this process?

Living Environment August 2004
Answer: (1) 

 

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