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Is this too in depth for the MCAT?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by PreparationIsKey, Sep 28, 2014.

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  1. PreparationIsKey

    PreparationIsKey

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    Aug 6, 2014
    Hey so I was wondering if the MCAT 2015 will be expecting us to know this question or a question such depth into viruses.

    ---Question starts here:

    Some viruses can be crystallized and their structures analyzed. One such virus is Desmodium, or yellow mottle virus, which infects beans. This is a member of the tymovirus group and has a single-stranded RNA genome of ~6,300 nucleotides. Its virion is 25—30 nm in diameter, and is made up of 180 copies of a single capsid protein that self-associate to form each capsomere, which has icosahedral symmetry with 20 facets.

    28) If this virus has capsomeres with 20 facets, how many proteins form each one?
    A) 1
    B) 5
    C) ~6
    D) ~20
    E) ~180

    ---Mind you this is very extensive into the anatomy of the virus. I've read the 2015 MCAT PDF. Although it does state that we need to know viruses I wouldn't say to this extent. What do you guys say?




    P.S. The answer is C.
     
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  3. csx

    csx 2+ Year Member

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    May 8, 2013
    Not sure..
    how do you get the answer for this?? is this a straight recall problem or something you derive from the question??
     
  4. jonnythan

    jonnythan Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul 5+ Year Member

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    Jan 26, 2012
    That's a terrible question. I would ignore it.
     
  5. PreparationIsKey

    PreparationIsKey

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    Aug 6, 2014
    Ignore or not. This might be on the MCAT.
     
  6. PreparationIsKey

    PreparationIsKey

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    Aug 6, 2014
    It requires knowledge of that specific virus as well as of general isohedral capsid structures.
     
  7. jonnythan

    jonnythan Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul 5+ Year Member

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    No, I don't think anything like that would be on the MCAT.
     
  8. PreparationIsKey

    PreparationIsKey

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    Aug 6, 2014
    I'll take your word on that based on your medical school credentials.
     
  9. jonnythan

    jonnythan Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul 5+ Year Member

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    Hahahaha!
     
    PreparationIsKey likes this.
  10. Jumb0

    Jumb0 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 24, 2012
    USA
    180 total proteins.
    20 proteins per facet.

    180 / 20 = 9 proteins per facet.

    6 is closest to 9. Pick 6.

    (You gotta figure that the answer is a little below the calculated value because the virus is obviously not one big capid. The "missing" proteins in this case must go towards other viral structures).

    I don't see why this is so hard. It's more of a critical thinking problem than a knowledge problem.
     
    itsthat1guy likes this.
  11. PreparationIsKey

    PreparationIsKey

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    Aug 6, 2014
    Good point.
     

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