New SAT Reading Practice Test 47: Paired Passages—Genomes

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Paired Passages—Genomes

Passage 1

Coffee is a pillar of the world economy,
generating both jobs and profits. The plant produced
revenue to the tune of $15.4 billion in 2013 alone.
The coffee industry is also one of the world's largest
05employers, supporting 26 million employees.
Because of the global importance of coffee, scientists
at the University at Buffalo and their international
colleagues were compelled to sequence the genome
of the most popular coffee plant. In the genome lies
10the secrets of the bold flavor that people around the
world have come to enjoy daily, as well as the caf-
feine kick that comes along with it. This new genetic
information can be used to expand the market by
creating new types of coffee varieties. The results of
15the study can also safeguard the existing industry.
Scientists can now modify the genetic material of
the coffee plant. Heartier strains of popular cof-
fee types can be created so that they are resistant to
drought, disease, and bugs.
20Researchers began their work by sequencing
the genome of the type of coffee that makes up
30 percent of all coffee production. The conclu-
sions drawn from this study will help save money
and resources during the coffee production process.
25Researchers were able to isolate the genetic informa-
tion of the enzymes in the coffee plant that produce
caffeine. With this information, it may be possible
to reduce or eliminate caffeine from coffee. This
would remove a costly step in the current process
30of extracting caffeine from the coffee beans, while
expanding the coffee market to people who avoid
caffeine for health reasons, such as high blood pres-
sure or pregnancy. The same research team plans
to sequence the genome of other types of coffee in
35the future. It is their hope that the information will
benefit the coffee producer, consumer, and also the

Passage 2

The Gibbon Genome Sequencing Consortium has
successfully sequenced the genome of the Northern
40white-cheeked gibbon. Both gibbons and humans
have DNA that changes during the course of their
lifetime. Some DNA changes in humans are the
result of mutations, which cause cancer and other
diseases. The changes in gibbons' DNA have resulted
45in many changes to the species over a very short
period of time. Although gibbons are close relatives
to humans, their DNA changes do not cause disease.
Understanding the pattern of the gibbon genome
might turn out to be very important to humans. If
50these changes in DNA can be understood, scientists
may be able to use the information to better under-
stand human disease.
Cancer and other genetic diseases are caused by
faulty gene regulation. Scientists have sought to under-
55stand human biology through the lens of gibbon DNA
structures for some time. Until now, there has simply
been too much information to analyze. The endless re-
arrangements made it difficult to align gibbon DNA to
that of humans, but it has finally been accomplished.
60Scientists discovered a piece of DNA that is unique
to the gibbon species. Gibbons have a specific repeat
element, or a piece of DNA that copies itself multi-
ple times throughout the genome. Repeat elements,
in both gibbons and humans, are related to the
65maintenance of genetic structures. Scientists hope
to be able to answer the question "Why can gibbon
DNA rearrange itself without causing diseases—
unlike humans' DNA?" If this complicated biological
question can be solved, scientists may be able to work
70backward in order to help stop cancer, heart failure,
and other human disease related to genetic repeats.

1. Which of the following best describes the central idea of Passage 1?

  • A. Advancements in genome sequencing will lead to healthier food options worldwide.
  • B. Genome sequencing of coffee can increase the profitability of coffee as a commodity.
  • C. Removing caffeine from coffee will allow more people to drink and enjoy coffee.
  • D. The coffee trade is an important sector of the global economy.

2. The author of Passage 2 would most likely agree that

  • A. instead of studying nonhuman animals, scientists should look for a way to stop human DNA from changing when it replicates itself.
  • B. sequencing the genome of other nonhuman primates could yield results that would be beneficial to people.
  • C. the benefits of genome sequencing of gibbons and other nonhuman animals does not justify the great expense and resources used.
  • D. scientists will be able to cure cancer once the mystery is solved of how the DNA of gibbons replicates itself without causing disease.

3. Passage 1 most strongly suggests that

  • A. the coffee industry will fail without new developments stemming from genome sequencing.
  • B. newly developed varieties of coffee plants are more expensive for consumers than are existing varieties.
  • C. future research will lead to developments that could increase the profitability for coffee producers.
  • D. genome sequencing of coffee plants could help scientists understand diseases that affect humans.

4. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 5-9 ("Because of the global…coffee plant")
  • B. Lines 16-17 ("Scientists can…coffee plant")
  • C. Lines 20-22 ("Researchers began…coffee production")
  • D. Lines 28-33 ("This would remove…pregnancy")

5. Passage 2 most strongly suggests which of the following?

  • A. The genetic makeup of the Northern white-cheeked gibbon is more similar to that of humans than to other primates.
  • B. More research is needed before the findings of scientists studying the DNA of gibbons can be used to cure disease in humans.
  • C. Many diseases and illnesses that affect humans can only be understood by studying the DNA of plants and other animals.
  • D. Cancer and other diseases can be eliminated completely if enough funding is given to scientific research.

6. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 40-44 ("Both gibbons…diseases")
  • B. Lines 54-56 ("Scientists have sought…some time")
  • C. Lines 63-65 ("Repeat elements…genetic structures")
  • D. Lines 68-71 ("If this…genetic repeats")

7. Which of the following best summarizes a shared purpose of the two authors?

  • A. To explain how genome sequencing in animals and plants can benefit people in unexpected ways
  • B. To summarize how genome sequencing has changed the field of medicine and the study of diseases
  • C. To inform readers about how scientific research can be applied to improving the world economy
  • D. To convince readers to support funding for research in genome sequencing of plants and animals

8. As used in line 8, "compelled" most nearly means

  • A. forced.
  • B. driven.
  • C. required.
  • D. constrained.

9. As used in line 65, "maintenance" most nearly means

  • A. preservation.
  • B. protection.
  • C. organization.
  • D. repair.

10. Which point is the author of Passage 1 trying to make by using the phrase "a pillar of the world economy" in line 1 to refer to the coffee industry?

  • A. Research into the coffee plant is important and should be continued.
  • B. The coffee industry plays a significant role in global economics.
  • C. Many jobs will be lost if the coffee industry goes into decline.
  • D. The coffee industry provides financial stability for millions of people worldwide.

11. Which of the following can reasonably be inferred based on the information in both passages?

  • A. Studying the genomes of animals closely related to humans can help scientists learn about diseases that affect humans.
  • B. Expanding the customer base of the coffee industry will lead to higher profits and increase the stability of the global economy.
  • C. The scientists who study coffee and those who study gibbons could learn more by collaborating.
  • D. The genomes of other plants and nonhuman animals hold secrets that can benefit people and are worthy of exploration.