Biology Test Preparation Practice

    (Nysed) Genetically Modified Organisms

    NGSS: HS-LS3-2

    Base your answers to questions 2 on the statement below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Scientists have found a gene in the DNA of a certain plant that could be the key to increasing the amount of lycopene, a cancer- fighting substance, in tomatoes.


    Base your answers to questions 3 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Female mosquitoes spread diseases when they bite humans to obtain blood. It is only the females that do the biting. Research is being conducted to alter the DNA of male mosquitoes. These altered males could then mate with normal female mosquitoes. All of the resulting female offspring would have wing defects that prevent them from flying.


    Base your answers to questions 6 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Barley Gene Lowers Emissions From Rice

    Over half the people on the planet eat rice as a staple food. Growing rice emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas—to the tune of 25 million to 100 million tons of methane every year, a notable contribution to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions…

    …When rice paddies are flooded, methane-producing bacteria thrive on the carbohydrates secreted by rice roots in the oxygen-free soils. The rice plant itself acts as a conduit [pathway], transmitting methane from the soil into the atmosphere…

    Source: Times Tribune 7/23/15


    Base your answers to questions 9 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Researchers have produced rice plants that can withstand being completely submerged for up to two weeks. This is good news for farmers in the flood regions of Southeast Asia. The farmers in this region rely heavily on this crop. The diagram below illustrates the process used to genetically modify plants, such as rice.

    genetics and biotechnology, technology of genetic engineering fig: lenv62016-examw_g12.png


    Base your answer to question 11 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    For many years, scientists hypothesized the existence of a single tomato gene that increases the sweetness and production of tomatoes. After years of research, a team of scientists identified the gene and observed greater sweetness and tomato production in plants that contain this gene.


    Base your answers to questions 12 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Green Algae Could Help Clean up Radioactive Nuclear Waste

    Recent studies have shown that the uses of green algae are boundless. First, scientists at R.I.T. used algae to synthesize biofuel, and recently scientists at Northwestern University and Argonne National have found that freshwater algae can remove strontium 90 from radioactive wastewater. These developments can significantly aid the future effort to clean up radioactive waste at the Fukushima Daichi Plant [a nuclear power plant in Japan]. Scientists discovered that the process begins when the green algae first absorb strontium, calcium and barium from water. The strontium and barium form crystals inside each algae cell. The crystals remain inside the cells, but the algae filters out and excretes calcium and other minerals that may be present. The strontium is then isolated, and thus able to be treated.

    Researchers are still figuring the best way to harness the algae’s capabilities. Since algae doesn’t differentiate between radioactive and inactive strontium (they are chemically identical), it is not known how the algae would hold up in a highly radioactive environment. But the good news is that they have been able to manipulate the algae’s process to be more strontium-selective, thus removing as much as possible.…



    Base your answers to questions 13 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Transgenic Salmon

    Transgenic Atlantic salmon have been produced using DNA from other species of related fish. These genetically modified fish have an altered DNA “switch” that causes them to overproduce growth hormone. The transgenic Atlantic salmon grow to normal size, but they reach market size in half the time of conventional Atlantic salmon. As with most of the salmon consumed by people, the transgenic Atlantic salmon would be grown using aquatic farming methods. Scientists have expressed concern that transgenic fish can have undesirable effects on the natural environment. Fish growers would be expected to take steps to ensure that the transgenic salmon do not escape into the wild.


    Base your answers to questions 14 on the information and photograph below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Transgenic (GMO) Tomatoes

    The use of pesticides to control insects costs billions of dollars every year. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are an attempt to reduce this cost. Tomato plants that are genetically modified can make proteins that are poisonous to the insects that feed on them. Using these GMO tomatoes would reduce the need for the chemical control of insects.

    genetics and biotechnology, applications of biotechnology fig: lenv12019-examw_g17.png


    Base your answer to question 15-18 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Chickens as Drug Factories

    Scientists in Scotland have successfully produced five generations of chickens that lay eggs containing certain protein-based drugs. The scientists changed the DNA of the chickens so that two drugs, one used to treat skin cancer and the other used to treat multiple sclerosis, were present in the egg whites. Cows, sheep, and goats have already been altered to produce protein-based drugs in their milk. Chickens are considered good “drug factories” because they are inexpensive to care for, they grow fast, and their chicks inherit the special drug-producing ability.