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AP Biology Essay Questions
UNIT 1
1.  The unique properties (characteristics) of water make life possible on Earth. Select three properties of water and: a. for each property, identify and define the property and explain it in terms of the physical/chemical nature of water. b. for each property, describe one example of how the property affects the functioning of living organisms. UNIT 2

 Describe the chemical composition and configuration of enzymes and discuss the factors that modify enzyme structure and/or function. An enzyme is a complex protein containing one or more polypeptide chains. Enzymes form the globular shape crucial for enzyme-substrate interactions. The active site of the enzyme is the portion of the enzyme that fits over the molecule. The substrate fits into the active site to form the enzyme-substrate complex. The factors that modify enzyme structure and/or function include temperature and substrate concentration. The substrate concentration can modify the enzyme because the reaction is dependent on the concentration of the enzyme, substrate, and product. If there is an abundance of substrate and a subsequent lack of product, the reaction will form more product, and vice versa with more substrate being formed in an abundance of product. The temperature modifies the enzyme’s structure and/or function because if the temp increases, the rate of reaction increase, and if it decreases so does the rate of reaction. UNIT 3

A laboratory assistant prepared solution of 0.8 M, 0.6 M, 0.4 M, and 0.2 M sucrose, but forgot to label them. After realizing the error, the assistant randomly labeled the flasks containing these four unknown solutions as flask A, flask B, flask C, and flask D. Design an experiment, based on the principles of diffusion and osmosis,that the assistant could use to determine which of the flasks contains each of the four unknown solutions. Include in your answer (a) a description of how you would set up and perform the experiment: (b) the results you would expect from your experiments: and (c) an explanation of those results based on the principals involved. (Be sure to clearly state the principles addressed in your discussion.)

UNIT 4
Describe the similarities and differences between the biochemical pathways of aerobic respiration and photosynthesis in eukaryotic cells. Include in your discussion the major reactions, the end products, and energy transfers.

UNIT 5
Discuss Mendel’s laws of segregation and independent assortment. Explain how the events of meiosis I account for the observations that led Mendel to formulate these laws. An organism is heterozygous at two genetic loci on different chromosomes. a. Explain how these alleles are transmitted by the process of mitosis to daughter cells. b. Explain how these alleles are distributed by the process of meiosis to gametes. c. Explain how the behavior of these two pairs of homologous chromosomes during meiosis provides the physical basis for Mendel’s two laws of inheritance. Labeled diagrams that are explained in your answer may be useful

UNIT 6
 Scientists seeking to determine which molecule is responsible for the transmission of characteristics from one generation to the next knew that the molecule must (1) copy itself precisely, (2) be stable but able to be changed, and (3) be complex enough to determine the organism’s phenotype. * Explain how DNA meets each of the three criteria stated above. * Select one of the criteria stated above and describe experimental evidence used to determine that DNA is the hereditary material.

Describe the operon hypothesis and discuss how it explains the control of messenger RNA production and the regulation of protein synthesis in bacterial cells.

UNIT 7
In a laboratory population of diploid, sexually reproducing organisms a certain trait is studied. This trait is determined by a single autosomal gene and is expressed as two phenotypes. A new population...
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