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1.

A person is declared to be dead upon the irreversible


cessation of spontaneous body functions: brain activity,
or blood circulation and respiration. However, only about
1% of a persons cells have to die in order for all of these
things to happen. How can someone be dead when 99% of
his or her cells are still alive?
2. About 200 years ago, Jan Baptista van Helmont wanted
to know where growing plants get the materials necessary
for increases in size. He planted a tree seedling weighing
5 pounds in a barrel filled with 200 pounds of soil and
then watered the tree regularly. After five years, the tree
weighed 169 pounds, 3 ounces, and the soil weighed 199
pounds, 14 ounces. Because the tree had gained so much
weight and the soil had lost so little, he concluded that the
tree had gained all of its additional weight by absorbing
the water he had added to the barrel, but of course he was
incorrect. What really happened?
3. Suppose you vacation in a developing country where
sanitation is poor. Having read about parasitic flagellates
in water and damp soil, what would you consider safe to
drink? What foods might be best to avoid or which food
preparation methods might make them safe to eat?
4. Oscar and Lucinda meet in a tropical rain forest and fall
in love, and he carves their initials into the bark of a tiny
tree. They never do get together, though. Ten years later,
still heartbroken, Oscar searches for the tree. Given what
you know about primary and secondary growth, will he
find the carved initials higher relative to ground level? If
he goes berserk and chops down the tree, what kinds of
growth rings will he see?
5. A python can survive by eating a large meal once or
twice a year. When it does eat, microvilli in
its small intestine lengthen fourfold and its stomach pH
drops from 7 to 1. Explain the benefits of these changes.
6. Drinking too much water can be dangerous. When marathoners
or other endurance athletes sweat heavily and
drink lots of water, their sodium level drops. The resulting
water intoxication can be fatal. Why is maintaining
sodium balance so important?
7. Rather than using fertilizer, a farmer may rotate crops,
planting legumes one year, then another crop, then legumes
again. Explain how crop rotation keeps soil fertile.
8. Owners of off-road recreational vehicles would like
increased access to government-owned deserts. Some
argue that it is the perfect place for off-roaders because
Theres nothing there. Do you agree?
9. Suddenly, after very heavy rains, many fish in a
local lake begin to die, yet algae in the water seem
to be doing very well. You know that the lake
receives runoff from local fields and roads. Form a
hypothesis about why the fish are dying, and suggest
how to stop the deaths.
10. Justify why a doctor would not prescribe an antibiotic
to treat the flu.