HY Cell and Molecular Bio

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I have a question for those out there that have taken Step 1. I am reading this book based on the recommendations of several people who say that it is highly helpful for many questions. However, after just reading the first 100 pages I can't help but think: what the hell did I just read- there is WAY more detail on gene locations, translocations, etc... that is extremely beyond Step 1 scope as far as expected knowledge and information goes. I have taken the NBME and finished USMLERx and about 1/3 of QBank so far and have not seen one quesiton that goes into this much detail (The ~10 different types of spinocerebellar ataxia with the differences in moderate or long repeats sequences and the differing gene and chromosome locations of each and varying symptoms for example.)

Another thing: Has anyone actually had to answer a quesiton on the real thing relating to the Trp operon or the Lac operon beyond the scope that they are gene expression mechanisms?

So, what should I focus on in this book? It seems that the relevant info is found in every other book- such as Kaplan Biochem, HY Histo, RR Path, FA, and others.


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Aug 12, 2004
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Some Step 1 veterans say that their exam forms were heavy on the molecular bio and light on the pathology. Some testers mentioned seeing q's on HOX genes, lac operon, etc. If you have read 100 pages, you don't have much farther to go, so finish, it can't hurt. You may be pleasantly surprised when you take the real thing.


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Jul 12, 2003
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I found that most molecular bio questions on the real thing don't test your memorization of random molecular bio facts, but your understanding of general mol bio principles.

For instance they could describe an experimental setup, and you'd have to predict the result, or identify which part of the system is a (some important mol bio term).