QUESTION TEXT: Which one of the following, if true, would…
DISCUSSION: Most of the wrong answers expect you to have misunderstood the process, so it’s worth revising here.
DNA mutation ➞ gets written to DNA ➞ RNA writes mutation back to DNA (i.e. “reverse transcription”) ➞ virus takes DNA from immune cell to reproductive cells
It’s only the fourth step that’s unproven.
- CORRECT. This is incredibly strong support for Steele’s theory. Paragraph 4 was about whether or not a virus could in fact alter reproductive cells. This answer shows that it is possible.
- This doesn’t provide any support. We need to know if the mechanism for the theory works. The mechanism is a virus writing RNA information back into DNA.
The mutations themselves weren’t important. It was whether they could be written back that was important.
- Who cares? The important bit is the final step in the chain above. Step 1 is the immune system making mutations. That’s proven. How they test the effectiveness of the mutations (i.e. trial and error, or some other method) is irrelevant.
- This isn’t necessarily Lamarckian. Natural selection could account for neck growth.
- This isn’t necessarily the same thing as passing on DNA. It could be a vaccine-like process or some other non-genetic mechanism that passes on the immunity.
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