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Tutor profile: Sierra S.

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Sierra S.
MD Canidate at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

How can you distinguish a topic, main idea, and a thesis?

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Sierra S.
Answer:

The topic is the general subject of a written piece or what the paper is all about. Topics are usually simple and can be described with one word or a short phrase. To identify the topic of a piece you can ask yourself, “who or what is the piece about?". For example, the topic of a paper could be a novel, dogs, or your mistakes. The main idea of a piece is what the author is arguing about the topic, it is the author's point. Often the main idea of a paragraph can be identified by reading the first sentence, often called the topic sentence of a paragraph. For example, the main idea could be not to steal, dogs can be trained, or you can learn from your mistakes. Finally, the thesis tells the reader what the piece will be about and provides the work a direction. The thesis is usually one line at the end of the introduction paragraph. An examples of a thesis is the following: ice cream is the best dessert because it comes in many flavors, it is cold, and tastes good. The difference between a thesis and main idea can be confusing. The important difference between the main idea and the thesis of a paper is that the thesis statement is a real sentence whereas the main idea is often implicit.

Subject: Biochemistry

TutorMe
Question:

How do enzymes function as biological catalysts?

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Sierra S.
Answer:

To understand how enzymes function as biological catalysts, we must first understand the characteristics of a catalyst. Catalysts are defined by two main properties. First, they lower the activation energy of a reaction. The activation energy of a reaction is the minimum amount of energy that the reacting species must have in order for the chemical reaction to occur. By lowering the activation energy of reaction, a catalyst helps speed up a reaction. Second, catalysts remain unchanged in mass and chemical composition at the end of the reaction. Enzymes function as biological catalysts because they improve the environment in which a reaction takes place, which lowers the activation energy. Additionally, at the end of a reaction enzymes are regenerated to their original form.

Subject: Biology

TutorMe
Question:

Please identify and describe the three mechanisms of bacterial genetic recombination.

Inactive
Sierra S.
Answer:

The three mechanisms of bacterial genetic recombination are the following: transduction, transformation, and conjugation. During transduction a bacteriophage, which is a virus that infects bacteria and archaea, is used as a vector to transfer the genetic material from one bacterium to another. Bacterial transformation is the process by which bacterium takes up foreign genetic material from the environment and integrates it into the bacterial genome. Finally, conjugation is the transfer of genetic material from one bacterium to another by direct cell-to-cell contact via a pilus. The pilus is a tube-like structure that connects the donor bacterium to the recipient.

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