Here are the instructions for your badge assessment. Review them carefully. Feel free to work on your assessment as you complete this learning app.

You should already understand:

  • Characteristics of viruses, prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells, and somatic plant and animal cells.
  • Structure and function of a cell membrane.
  • What an experimental control is and why it is used.
  • Mitosis and meiosis.
  • DNA replication.
  • DNA transcription.
  • Translation to produce a protein.
  • How mutation can affect information transfer processes.

Please be sure to read each of the following questions very carefully so that you are submitting exactly what is asked for. All questions should be answered thoroughly and completely. You should also look at the grading rubric for these questions before finalizing your assessment answers.

Answer the following 4 questions:

  1. Consider the following scenario: Biologists have found live organisms on another planet. Assume that the cells and organisms found on this other planet will fit the same categories as cells and organisms on earth. Create/develop a flowchart that can be used to classify the cells, organisms, and any particles that infect the living cells on this new planet. As a starting minimum, you should include the following categories in your flowchart: viruses, prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells, somatic animal cells, and somatic plant cells. You are not, however, restricted to these categories only.

    To answer this question, you will need to compare differences and similarities among all of these categories, including the structure and function of organelles found in each cell type, and the structure of chromosomes found in the various cell or particle types.

    Here is an example of a flowchart used to differentiate different types of animals found on earth. This example should give you an idea of how to proceed with your own flowchart to answer Question #1. Notice how most of the questions in the example flowchart have yes or no answers. If yes, then an arrow would go from that question to a smaller category. If no, another arrow would go from that question to a different smaller category.

    A flowchart has a continuing “direction” to it so that as you answer yes or no to each succeeding question, you are also getting more and more into the details that separate these different categories from each other.
  2. The following photos record an experiment in which a dye was added to tubes containing either live cells or cells that have been killed. The controls for this experiment include tubes of cells (either live or killed) that do not have dye added to them. Fully explain what has happened in this experiment and why. Why is each control included?

    Note that the dye used in this experiment is really a pH indicator. It changes color as the pH changes. A basic or alkaline solution has a high pH (> 7); an acid solution has a low pH (<7). Also note that the dye has no charge and is too small to be filtered out of the solution with filter paper.

    This question requires higher order thinking. It requires you to look at the evidence from the experiment and explain what it means. Every piece of evidence has a meaning.

    Perhaps what may help you fully answer this question is to write down every observation and then write down what that particular observation means.
Critical Information for Question #2
Dye Acidic Basic red yellow Yeast are suspended in a solution of pH 8.5.

  1. Consider two closely related species—Species A and Species B. Species A and B will mate with each other in captivity, and often produce healthy offspring. However, the hybrid offspring are usually sterile, because Species A has 12 pairs of chromosomes and Species B has 11 pairs of chromosomes. Explain what occurs during mitosis and during meiosis in the hybrid that allows normal development and growth from zygote to adult, but causes the adults to be sterile. (As part of your explanation, you should create diagrams of the chromosome arrangements for both mitosis and meiosis using the same number of chromosomes given to you in this question.)
  2. It is known that overexposure to certain kinds of ultraviolet radiation has the potential to cause skin cancer because of mutations made in skin cell DNA. Therefore, people are encouraged to use a good sunblock in order to minimize UV radiation exposure from the sun. Let’s suppose that a man decides to go outside and mow his lawn without using any sunblock. The UV radiation that hits his exposed skin causes a mutation in the DNA of one of his skin cells. The mutation is in the 15th base of the DNA sequence below. Please answer the following questions to determine if the possible mutations will negatively affect the function of the protein coded for by this particular gene.

    This question requires knowledge of the information transfer processes found in living cells (DNA replication, transcription, and translation) as well as how mutation might affect those processes. The accompanying genetic code table will be needed to answer this question.

    a. Replicate this strand of DNA in the empty boxes under the DNA bases listed.

b. Transcribe this strand of DNA in the row of empty boxes below, under the DNA bases listed.

c. Translate the resulting mRNA, writing the correct amino acid below each codon.


d. Suppose a mutation to the strand of DNA caused the 15th base to be a T instead of a G. What is the new amino acid sequence? (Write all of the amino acids in sequence, not just the one that got replaced.)

e. Is the protein that results from this new amino acid sequence likely to work as well as the original protein? Why or why not?

f. Suppose a mutation to the strand of DNA caused a C to be inserted after the second base. What is the new amino acid sequence? (Write all of the amino acids in sequence, not just the one that got replaced.)

g. Is the protein that results from this new amino acid sequence likely to work as well as the original? Why or why not?

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