UT AST 309L - Review Questions for Second Exam (2 pages)

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Review Questions for Second Exam



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Review Questions for Second Exam

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School:
University of Texas at Austin
Course:
Ast 309l - Search for Extraterrestrial Life
Search for Extraterrestrial Life Documents
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AST 309L Spring 2006 Review Questions for Second Exam A Molecules of Life what are they what are they made of how do they interact 1 Give a schematic representation of proteins and nucleic acids identifying the parts Draw the chemical process of peptide bond formation 2 Define what a codon is and describe its purpose 3 How are proteins made under the direction of DNA Clearly describe transcription and translation Starting with a DNA codon TCC transcribe it into the mRNA codon and translate it into the corresponding amino acid Identify one mutation to the mRNA that would not cause a change in the amino acid 4 Be able to identify basic molecules needed for life from diagrams or chemical formulae B Origin of Life understand the problems and the different ideas for solving them 1 What are the three basic steps needed to get from simple molecules like H2O NH3 and CH4 to a primitive life form 2 What is Strecker synthesis Explain the synthesis of glycine in the Miller Urey experiment What criticisms question the relevance of the Miller Urey experiment Describe some other possible ways to get monomers on the early Earth 3 What difficulty is encountered when we try to understand how polymers of amino acids arose on the early Earth How does Sidney Fox argue that this difficulty was overcome 4 Explain the difficulty in making nucleic acids on the early Earth How do the experiments of Leslie Orgel partially overcome these difficulties 5 Describe the two general categories of theories for the transition to life Which category would be favored by considerations of probability theory 6 Describe the evolution in a test tube experiments of Sol Spiegelman What implications do these experiments have for the transition to life 7 Outline the standard picture of the origin of life by chemical evolution on Earth Discuss the proteins first and nucleic acids first scenarios Discuss the pros and cons of each scenario including recent developments 8 Describe the idea of the origin of life by chemical evolution in space including evidence that molecules relevant to the origin of life have been delivered to Earth from space 9 Explain the ideas of A G Cairns Smith regarding the origin of life 10 Explain Shapiro s idea for the origin of life based on the interpreter molecules 11 Describe the RNA world as a nucleic acids first scenario Why is this the most popular scenario now What are the pros and cons for this picture 12 Describe the scenario of de Duve for a thioester based protolife that precedes and leads to the RNA world 13 Discuss the arguments for and against exotic lifeforms based on Si instead of C other solvents etc 14 Give your estimate for f l and explain your reasoning C Survey of our Solar System for Sites for Life understand atmospheric evolution greenhouse effect the Viking experiments and new developments 1 What atmospheric gases contribute to the greenhouse effect 2 Describe the properties of Venus and explain how it developed into its current very hot state 3 What implications does the fate of Venus have for the concept of the habitable zone and your estimate of ne or f l 4 Describe the properties of Mars and explain how it evolved to its current cold state How would its evolution affect your estimate of ne or f l 5 Explain how each of the life detection experiments on Viking worked what they found and how the results were interpreted 6 Describe the Martian meteorite ALH84001 What is its history and how did it get to Earth What is the evidence in the meteorite that bacteria once lived on Mars Why is this interpretation not universally accepted 7 Describe recent results from probes sent to Mars and their implications for Mars as a possible site for life 8 Describe the Sagan Salpeter ideas for life on Jupiter 9 Describe the conditions found on Europa and Titan and explain why they may be interesting for life Describe the results of the Huygens probe of Titan 10 Describe the various methods that can be used to search for evidence of past or current life on planets in our solar system How can we search for non intelligent life in other planetary systems Broader Questions 1 Describe the increase in complexity at the microscopic level from simple molecules to life 2 What are the primary remaining problems in understanding the origin of life


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