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Tutor profile: Grace S.

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Grace S.
Tutor and Teaching Assistant with a passion for learning and life science
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Questions

Subject: Biochemistry

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Question:

Both red blood cells and brain cells rely on glucose as their primary energy source, as they are not capable metabolizing fatty acids themselves due to a lack of mitochondria. In cases in which glucose is not available to the body (e.g. fasting state), (1) what type of fatty acid-derived molecule do these cells rely on? (2) Where are these molecules primarily produced in the body? And (3) what is the biochemical process called which produces this energy source?

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Grace S.
Answer:

(1) Ketone bodies are small molecules derived from fatty acids. They are used as an energy source, when there is an inadequate level of glucose available to the body from gluconeogenesis and diet. (2) Ketone bodies are produced primarily in the liver. (3) Ketogenesis.

Subject: Biology

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Question:

Explain why a single nucleotide deletion has the potential to be more damaging than a a single missense mutation in a protein coding gene. Please use examples.

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Grace S.
Answer:

Unlike a single missense mutation, which alters one nucleotide base to another (e.g. a cytosine to adenine), a deletion mutation simply deletes one nucleotide base from the genetic code (e.g. cytosine to nothing). This has the potential to be far more damaging in protein coding genes because deletions and insertions can cause frameshifts, which can result in a completely different mRNA transcript, and subsequently a completely different protein after translation.

Subject: US History

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Question:

The Sherman Anti-trust Act was the first major anti-trust legislation passed in 1890 (unanimously in the House, and nearly unanimously in the Senate), yet it was not widely employed to "trust-bust" until 1902. Using the context of both the Gilded Age and Progressive Era explain why this 12 year gap between passage and enforcement of of the Sherman Act makes sense. (Bonus) Do you think it makes sense that the Sherman Act was passed in the year 1890? Why or why not?

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Grace S.
Answer:

The year the Sherman Act was passed, 1890, represented the peak of the Gilded Age. Extreme wealth inequality existed between the robber barons and the rest of the nation. This was in large part due to the unregulated efforts of the wealthy to monopolize industries, both as individual corporations and as trusts. These monopolies gave the robber barons the power to set exorbitant prices on essential goods, increasing the wealth disparity, and crushing any competition as they grew. As a result of this consolidated economic power, it is unsurprising that the Gilded Age was also a time of extreme political cronyism, in which the wealthy influenced every level of government. Therefore, it is logical that even though Sherman Anti-trust act was passed in 1890, it was not enforced until after the Gilded Age ended and the Progressive Era, a time of widespread reform, began. Bonus: In many ways, the Sherman Act appears to be an anachronism of the Gilded Age, a piece of progressive legislation in a sea of corruption. However, one aspect of its passage leads me to believe that it was indeed fitting for the era in which it was passed; it was passed nearly unanimously, with only one vote against it in the Senate. At first glance this may seem nonsensical, as such legislation could easily be damaging to many of the congress' wealthy donors, yet the Act passed anyway. This leads me to believe that it was never the intention of the 1890 congress to enforce the Sherman Act. Instead, it served to mollify the masses who were discontent with the systemic inequality and corruption.

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