: National Biology Competition 2016
University of Toronto National Biology Competition 2016 Examination Question Paper with Solutions. The Exam was held on Thursday, April 28, 2016. The exam questions will cover material that a senior high school biology student is likely to have come across in their studies.
- General biochemistry
- basic chemical concepts, chemical bonds, biochemical reactions, biologically important organic molecules
- Cell structure and processes
- cell structure and function, membrane structure, transport across membranes
- Cell metabolism
- energy in the cell, enzymes, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, mitosis, cell cycle
- meiosis, sexual and asexual reproduction, Mendelian inheritance, DNA, genes and chromosomes, protein synthesis, mutation, genetic disorders in humans, gene expression and manipulation
- historical context for evolutionary theory, evidence for evolution, population genetics, evolutionary mechanisms, adaptation, speciation, extinction
- Biological diversity
- taxonomy, phylogeny, origin of life, microbial, fungal, plant, and animal diversity
- Plant structure and function
- structure, growth, and reproduction, transport mechanisms, growth regulators
- Vertebrate structure and function
- digestion, circulation, gas-exchange, reproduction, development, homeostasis, excretion, and nervous, endocrine, and immune systems
- species interactions, matter exchange and energy flow, population dynamics, human ecology, conservation biology
- "Hot" biology topics in the news
1. During lactic acid fermentation, one molecule of glucose (left figure) is converted to two molecules of lactic acid (right figure). During this reaction, which carbon atoms in glucose (numbered 1 to 6) are reduced and which are oxidized?
Answer: C. Carbons 1 and 6 are reduced; carbons 3 and 4 are oxidized.
2. Which of the following would be found within an autotrophic eukaryotic cell (and not a heterotrophic eukaryotic cell)?
3. A botanist wants to breed a new variety of daisy with orange flowers. She crosses a yellow variety with a red variety. She knows that the daisy with yellow petals contains a dominant yellow petal allele and a recessive white petal allele. In which scenario is it possible to obtain an orange flower?
Answer: A. Red petals have incomplete dominance to yellow petals and are dominant to white petals.
4. Which of the following mechanisms allows evolutionary biologists to best predict how allele frequencies in a population will change over time?
Answer: B. Natural selection
5. Which statement accurately describes essential amino acids?
Answer: E. They cannot be manufactured by an organismâ€™s body.
6. In a eukaryotic cell, where does the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins occur? (ER = endoplasmic reticulum)
DNA RNA Proteins
Answer: C. nucleus nucleus cytosol + ER
7. The spontaneous self-assembly of phospholipids in an aqueous environment are shown at right. What is the most important contributor to this spontaneous assembly?
Answer: E. Increased entropy of water.
Hydrophobic interactions are interactions between hydrophobic molecules and consist only of weak forces (van der Waals and London dispersion forces, induced dipole-induced dipole interactions). The spontaneous formation of bilayers results from the entropic aspect of thermodynamics, and not from these weak bonds. Lipids coalesce to reduce the amount of water surrounding its molecules, and thereby increasing entropy of water. This phenomenon results in the formation of essential components of life, such as the lipid bilayer membrane in eukaryotic cells.