1. What female hormone is a precursor of testosterone?
2. A hormone response element is a stretch along what macromolecule?
3. Why is a transdermal patch considered to be a safer route to administer
estrogen replacement therapy than an oral dose?
no conversion to other chemicals by delivery to the liver by the portal
4. "Seven-year-old boys and girls behave differently, and this is probably
due to circulating testosterone levels." Refute the last half of this
sentence and discuss whether and how testosterone may be responsible for
there is no testosterone in boys that age but there was neonatal testosterone
which had organizing effects on the brain
5. Where did the arachidonic acid, the precursor of leukotrienes and prostaglandins,
a membrane phospholipid
6. If you have elective surgery coming up, why would you be told to refrain
from taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) a few weeks in
they are anticoagulants and you would bleed
7. Inhibin ANSWER EITHER (1) It has feedback to inhibit the release of what
hormone? OR (2) Where is it produced?
fsh, testes, specifically seminiferous tubules
8. What is BPH (benign prostate hypertrophy) AND what inconvenience results
when the prostate enlarges with age, squeezing the urethra, making it harder
9. Ovulation occurs right after a surge of what hormone?
lh, the figure also shows fsh
10. The second meiotic division for the egg ANSWER EITHER (1) Where does
it occur? OR (2) When does it occur?
1-way up in the uterine (fallopian) tube, 2-right when fertilization occurs
11. "The purpose of meiosis is to establish genetic variability among
the possible germ cells." If there were no crossing over, how many
different combinations of chromosomes would there be in a man's sperm or
a woman's eggs?
2 to the 23 power
12. Use of human stem cells in therapy and research is no longer as big
an ethical and political issue as it used to be. Why not?
they can be made from, for instance, skin and need not be from embryos
13. In terms of overall sexual dimorphism, what would become of an individual
who had no testosterone and MIF (Mullerian inhibition factor)?
she would be a female
14. Why is it useful that fibrin has to be actively activated from its precursor,
you would only want blood to clot where it needs to clot
15. Why, in the early days of AIDS, were hemopheliacs particularly susceptible?
blood banks were not safe, and clotting factor was produced from multiple
16. How is it that sickle cell anemia is present in the US only in people
of African American descent?
the mutation confers a selective advantage in resistance to malaria
17. What is the term applied to the attraction of a neutrophil to the site
where there are bacteria to phagocytose?
chemotaxis, also extravastation
18. An Rh negative mother has an Rh positive baby. Why would they treat
her with antibidies against Rh positive?
passive immunity would prevent her from mounting active immunity, so it
is safe to have another baby who might be Rh positive
19. What is the difference between how Edward Jenner conferred immunity
to small pox in the standard vaccination vs the procedure Lady Montague
introduced to Great Britain 50 years earlier?
cow pox vs small pox injection
20. You get a disease and get sick and then get better. Explain in terms
of B lymphocytes (and cellular relatives to B lymphocytes) why you do not
get very sick (or sick for a long time) the next time you are exposed to
the same disease.
there are memory cells that can make plasma cells to make antibodies specific
to that disease quickly
21. Presumably your small pox and polio vaccinations last a lifetime. Why
do you need a new flu vaccination every year?
the flu virus mutates and has animal (pig, bird) hosts
22. "An antibody binds to an antigen." ANSWER EITHER (1) Which
part of the antibody does the binding? OR (2) Which part of the antigen
does it bind to?
the variable part at the tip of the y-shaped molecule, any bunch of 5-15
nearby amino acids called an epitope or antigenic determinant
23. A macrophage (alternatively a killer T cell) utilizes a viral (foreign)
antigen in its communication with a helper T cell (alternatively an infected
cell). Name ONE other molecule used in this cell-cell communication.
class II MHC and CD4 coreceptor (alternatively class I MHC and CD8 coreceptor)
24. In the 1800's a famous French physician studied stroke patients. What
conclusions did he make upon examining their brains in autopsy that led
to the naming of a brain area after him?
broca found a small area on only one side of the brain that mediated the
motor aspect of speech
25. Why would it be useful for the skin to have a receptor for vibration?
the Pacinian corpuscle can detect a textured surface using active (feeling)
26. Why would a lesion (an injury) halfway across the spinal cord cause
an ipsilateral loss of fine touch below the injury but a contralateral loss
of pain below the injury?
the decussation in the lemniscal system is in the medulla while the decussation
in the anterolateral system is at the site of entry to the spinal cord
27. The basal nuclei collect information from all over the brain and send
it to (where?) to achieve better coordination of motor movements.
motor cortex (via thalamus)
28. Why is Huntington's chorea called a triplet repeat disease?
there are extra CAGs coding for extra glutamines
29. Sweet, salt, sour and bitter. What human taste primary is missing from
30. Vagus nerve (cranial nerve X) and glossopharyngeal nerve (cranial nerve
IX). What additional afferent nerve carries taste information from the tongue
to the brain? (name OR number would suffice)
31. Unlike the other "special senses," there is no area in the
cerebral cortex for the sense of smell. Give the name of one brain area
(or give the name of the entire network of brain areas) for where olfaction
limbic system = hypothalamus + hippocampus + amygdala + mammillary body
+ olfactory bulb + olfactory tract
32. What is the transduction molecule in the ANSWER EITHER (1) olfactory
chemosensory receptor? OR (2) mechanosensory vestibular system?
g protein linked receptor, ion channel
33. The audibility curve showed hearing threshold. Flipped over, it showed
hearing sensitivity. ANSWER EITHER (10 What is on the X axis? OR (2) What
is on the Y axis?
frequency (Hz or cycles per second), intensity in dynes per square centimeter
34. The outer ear drum (tympanic membrane) presses on the hammer (malleus).
The stirrup (stapes) presses on the inner ear drum, more formally referred
to as the (what?).
35. How does a tip link help the channel on the stereocilium?
this extracellular protein helps to pull open the mechanoreceptor as stereocilia
bend and one stereocilium pulls at another
36. ANSWER EITHER (1) Why would Bekesy's data seem at first to contradict
Helmholtz's place theory? OR (2) How did he rationalize that the place theory
localization on the basilar membrane is too crude, lateral inhibition sharpened
the tuning in neural processing on the way to the brain
37. There are auditory synapses in the medulla, then in the midbrain. Between
these and the cortex, where is the relay synapse?
thalamus (medial geniculate body)
38. "My optic bench features a mercury arc lamp and a grating monochromator."
How do I change the intensity of the visual stimulus?
put in neutral density filters where each 0.3 log units cuts the light in
39. ANSWER EITHER (1) What is the name of the disorder the eye care professional
is testing for when (s)he checks your eyeball's pressure? OR (2) What is
the mechanism of blindness if this disorder is left untreated?
glaucoma, the ganglion cells die
40. Nearsightedness ANSWER EITHER (1) What is the official term? OR (2)
What kind of lens corrects this refractive disorder?
41. When the ciliary muscle is contracted ANSWER EITHER (1) What is the
status of the suspensory ligaments? OR (2) What is the relative shape of
the lens? OR (3) What kind of vision is this for?
relaxed, thick, near vision
42. State a major difference between retinitis pigmentosa and age related
rods (as young adult) vs cones (elderly)
43. ANSWER EITHER (1) What do we call the value 6.63 x 10-34 joule-s? OR
(2) What calculation did we use it for?
called Planck's constant, energy of one photon
44. Humans have one rod rhodopsin and three cone rhodopsins. Which two are
coded for on the X chromosome?
long (yellow [red]) and middle (green), both cone rhodopsins
45. Dark current along the length of the rod ANSWER EITHER (1) Why does
it exist? OR (2) Under what circumstances does it stop?
sodium comes in in the outer segment and goes out in the inner segment,
stops in the light
46. Using the appropriate terminology for visual (or retinal) angle, what
crosses to the contralateral side at the optic chiasm?
nasal retinal field (temporal visual field)
47. ANSWER EITHER (1) Why does the retinal pigment epithelial cell have
a lot to phagocytose? OR (2) What happens to the indigestible residue of
the phagolysosomal system?
rod tips are shed daily, it becomes the fluorescent aging pigment lipofuscin
48. By studying vision in human subjects including himself, how did your
professor show that the human lens absorbs 4 log units of light at 350 nm
in the ultraviolet?
comparing spectral sensitivity of people with and without a lens
49. People and Drosophila obtain vitamin A through their diet. Name ONE
of the famous dietary precursors of vitamin A (they are dimers of vitamin
beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein
50. Say something about why the macula (the area around the fovea) looks
yellow when viewed through an ophthalmoscope.
carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein block blue light to protect foveal cones
Return to syllabus
Return to Stark home page
last updated 11/30/2015