Living Environment January 2012 Question Answer Keys
The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 — 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., only
Student Name _____________________________________________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________
Directions (1–30): For each statement or question, record on your separate answer sheet the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question.
1. Which statement describes an activity of a decomposer?
- (1) A mushroom digests and absorbs nutrients from organic matter.
- (2) A sunflower uses nutrients from the soil to make proteins.
- (3) A snail scrapes algae off rocks in an aquarium.
- (4) A hawk eats and digests a mouse.
2. The calcium concentration in the root cells of certain plants is higher than in the surrounding soil. Calcium may continue to enter the root cells of the plant by the process of
- (1) diffusion
- (2) respiration
- (3) active transport
- (4) protein synthesis
3. Homeostasis is maintained in a single-celled organism by the interaction of
- (1) organs
- (2) systems
- (3) tissues
- (4) organelles
4. Within which structure of an animal cell does DNA replication take place?
- (1) vacuole
- (2) cell membrane
- (3) nucleus
- (4) ribosome
5. The shape of a protein is originally determined by the
- (1) size of the protein molecule
- (2) location of the protein within the cell
- (3) arrangement of amino acids in the protein
- (4) function the protein must carry ou
6. Plant cells can synthesize energy-rich organic molecules, and later break them down to extract that energy for performing life processes. These activities require direct interaction between the
- (1) chloroplasts and vacuoles
- (2) cell walls and ribosomes
- (3) chloroplasts and mitochondria
- (4) ribosomes and mitochondria
7. Selective breeding has been used for thousands of years to
- (1) develop bacteria that produce human insulin
- (2) clone desirable plant varieties
- (3) develop viruses that protect against diseases
- (4) produce new varieties of domestic animals
8. A deletion of a DNA segment alters a gene in a single skin cell of an individual. Which statement best describes a result of this mutation?
- (1) Any cell produced from this skin cell will have the same mutation.
- (2) All offspring of the individual will have a skin cell mutation.
- (3) The mutation will spread into other types of cells.
- (4) The gametes of this individual will have the same mutation.
9. Some goats have been genetically modified with a human gene that codes for a blood anticlotting factor. The anticlotting factor can then be extracted from the goat milk and used during surgery. To produce these genetically modified goats, scientists most likely
- (1) injected the anticlotting factor into the milkproducing glands of the animals
- (2) added modified DNA into the milk of the animals
- (3) inserted the human gene into the egg cells of goats
- (4) altered the nutritional requirements of newborn goats
10. Which characteristic is necessary for natural selection to occur in a species?
- (1) stability
- (2) variation
- (3) complex cellular organization
- (4) a very low mutation rate
11. Researchers use a variety of techniques to learn more about the function of a specific gene in an organism. In one type of experiment, called a loss-of-function experiment, the gene being investigated is eliminated. In a gain-of-function experiment, extra copies of the gene being investigated are inserted. The cell process most directly affected in both experiments is
- (1) protein synthesis
- (2) waste disposal
- (3) transport of materials
- (4) breakdown of nutrients
12. Plants are green because they contain the protein chlorophyll. A bucket was left on the lawn for one week. When the bucket was removed, the grass under the bucket had turned from green to a yellowish white color. This change is due to the interaction between the grass and
- (1) decomposer organisms in the soil, an abiotic factor
- (2) the amount of sunlight, an abiotic factor
- (3) increased moisture under the bucket, a biotic factor
- (4) the metal composition of the bucket, a biotic factor
13. Which statement describes a function of the human male reproductive system?
- (1) It produces gametes in testes.
- (2) It supplies a fluid that protects the fetus.
- (3) It provides support for the development of the embryo.
- (4) It provides nutrient materials through a placenta.
14. Exposure to toxins during early stages of pregnancy is more likely to cause birth defects than exposure in late pregnancy because
- (1) essential organs form during early development
- (2) the uterus provides more protection in late pregnancy
- (3) the placenta forms during late pregnancy
- (4) meiosis occurs rapidly during early development
15. Although a liver cell and a muscle cell in a human developed from the same single cell, their appearance and functions are different. This is because the liver cell
- (1) contains different genes than the muscle cell
- (2) expresses different genes than the muscle cell
- (3) destroys the muscle cell genes it contains
- (4) lacks the genes found in muscle cells
16. Sexual reproduction in a species usually results in
- (1) an increase in the chromosome number in the offspring
- (2) offspring genetically identical to the parent
- (3) recombination of genes
- (4) a decrease in biodiversity
17. As water flows downhill, its energy can be used to generate electricity. Later, this water may evaporate, fall as rain, and be used again to generate electricity in the same way. This explains why electricity generated with water is considered
- (1) a source of water pollution
- (2) a renewable form of energy
- (3) more expensive than nuclear energy
- (4) responsible for global warming
18. Scientists have found that although plants require light to carry on photosynthesis, very high levels of sunlight can kill some plants. This illustrates that many biochemical processes may occur
- (1) more rapidly when temperatures are very high
- (2) within a specific range of conditions
- (3) best in the absence of abiotic factors
- (4) even if homeostasis is disrupted
19. A relationship between a consumer and producer is best illustrated by a
- (1) snake eating a bird
- (2) tree absorbing minerals
- (3) fungus breaking down wastes
- (4) deer eating grass
20. The evolutionary pathways of several species are represented in the diagram below
Which species was best adapted for survival in changing environmental conditions?
- (1) A
- (2) E
- (3) K
- (4) L
21. The diagram below represents a microscopic view of blood.
Cell A protects the body by producing specific chemicals in response to pathogens. Cell A is
- (1) a red blood cell
- (2) a bacteria cell
- (3) an insulin-producing cell
- (4) a white blood cell
22. The diagram below represents a change in guard cells that open and close pores in a plant
This change directly helps to
- (1) increase heterotrophic nutrition
- (3) regulate water loss
- (2) absorb minerals
- (4) reduce seed production
23. Which statement represents a characteristic of an ecosystem that is not likely to sustain itself?
- (1) The Sun provides the needed energy.
- (2) Energy is transferred from plants to animals.
- (3) There are more consumers than producers.
- (4) There are interactions between biotic and abiotic factors.
24. Which statement best explains why different plant species are found at different water depths as represented in the diagram below?
- (1) Energy flows through ecosystems in one direction, typically beginning with photosynthetic organisms.
- (2) In any particular environment, the growth and survival of organisms is affected by physical conditions.
- (3) Plants on land are higher up the food chain than plants under water.
- (4) Plant cells and some one-celled organisms contain chloroplasts.
25. Some people see the benefit of wind energy as a clean alternative to fossil fuels for energy production. Others believe it is dangerous for migratory birds. These opinions best illustrate that decisions about alternate energy sources
- (1) will usually favor older methods of energy production over newer methods
- (2) must be made by weighing the risks and costs against the benefits
- (3) must be made by taking into account the present needs of the citizens without looking toward the future
- (4) should be the responsibility of each individual
26. One way humans can promote the survival of organisms in an ecosystem is to
- (1) decrease diversity in plant habitats
- (2) introduce new consumers to control autotrophs
- (3) release extra CO2 into the atmosphere to help autotrophs
- (4) learn about the interactions of populations
27. Environmentalists are hoping to protect endangered organisms by calling for a reduction in the use of pesticides, because loss of these organisms would
- (1) increase the mutation rate in plants
- (2) cause pesticides to become more toxic to insects
- (3) reduce biodiversity in various ecosystems
- (4) decrease the space and resources available to other organisms
28. Which farming practice causes the least harm to the environment?
- (1) using natural predators to reduce insect numbers
- (2) adding chemical fertilizers to all the crops in the area
- (3) planting the same crop for 1 year on all the fields in the area
- (4) planting the same crop in the same field each year for 10 years
29. Some bacteria are unable to survive unless a certain nutrient is present in their food supply. After exposure to ultraviolet radiation, some of these bacteria are able to synthesize this nutrient. This change is most likely due to
- (1) increased respiration
- (2) exposure to an antigen
- (3) an alteration in a gene
- (4) gamete formation
30. Which action by humans could improve the quality of the air?
- (1) building homes that use only oil furnaces for heat
- (2) buying cars that get more miles per gallon of gasoline
- (3) increasing the number of coal-burning power plants that generate electricity
- (4) cutting down forests to clear land for factories
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