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 vessel

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 the difference.

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, come from?

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 advance?

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 from BPH?

when the prostate enlarges with age, squeezing the urethra, making it harder to pee

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, fibrinogen?

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 donors

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) touch

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 that list?


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)

facial (VII)

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 projects.

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 or decibels

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?).

oval window

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 still applied?

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 half

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?

myopia, concave

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 macular degeneration

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 A).

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

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last updated 11/30/2015