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Any NSW biology teachers here?

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 12:55 PM

I know there are some great science teachers on here. I have a question from the NESA biology sample paper that I need help with.
It’s module 6, question 8c (page 38 in the link below). I can only get the suggested answer if I use the wheel to decode  the tRNA that would be used. But shouldn’t I be decoding the mRNA shown in box 3?
Any help would be greatly appreciated 😊

Edited by AJPM, 11 August 2019 - 03:42 PM.

#2 Sincerely

Posted 13 August 2019 - 11:52 PM

Yes, you are right & have correctly detected an 'error' in the paper - the wheel depicts the standard mRNA to amino acid conversion as it shows AUG to match with methionine or start codon. However, they have not labelled the diagram and intend it to be used to decode tRNA to amino acid. They've explained as such - "Stage 4 represents the TRANSLATION of the RNA into a polypeptide chain that cannot be made into a functional protein". The key word they've used is 'translation' (tRNA to amino acid) not 'transcription' (mRNA to amino acid).

The question is not internally inconsistent (it would have been, if they had labelled the wheel correctly). The two errors sort of negate each other on the paper, but the question does not match factual reality. We've previously encountered a similar issue in a different practice paper. There was a question which could only be answered if one accepted the provided sequence of the reverse strand of the HBB gene, which causes thalassaemia, as the forward sequence. I can't remember the specifics of how DD1 came to query that particular question, but she has since concluded over the years as a biology tutor, that the questions seem to be set in a bit of a vacuum.

Edited by Sincerely, 14 August 2019 - 10:18 AM.


Posted 14 August 2019 - 09:55 AM

Thanks so much sincerely

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