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June 2010

1 A student carried out an investigation into the variables affecting the


permeability of beetroot cell membranes. Pieces of beetroot were placed
into tubes containing distilled water. The student then used a colorimeter to
measure the intensity of red colouration in the distilled water.
(a) (i) Suggest one factor that affects the permeability of the beetroot cell
membrane.
Write a hypothesis for this investigation that the student could test.
(2)
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(ii) Use your biological knowledge and understanding to explain and justify
this hypothesis.
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(b) (i) State two factors that need to be controlled in this investigation.
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(ii) Suggest how one of the factors you have stated in (b)(i) could be
controlled.
If this factor had not been controlled, what effect would it have on the
results?
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How the factor is controlled
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(c) Describe how you could reduce systematic errors in the measurements
of the dependent variable in this investigation.
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(Total for Question 1 = 11 marks)

January 2011

1 Agar plates spread with a suitable culture of bacteria can be used to test
the effectiveness of different antibiotics.
(a) Describe how to investigate the effect of different types of antibiotic (the
independent variable) on bacteria. Include details of a suitable dependent
variable and how it can be measured.
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(b) (i) State two variables, other than the dependent and independent
variable, which could affect the investigation.
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(ii) Suggest how one of the variables you have stated in (b)(i) could be
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(c) Give two ways in which this investigation should be carried out safely.
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(d) To treat a bacterial infection, an antibiotic must be effective against the
bacteria.
Suggest one other factor that may need to be considered by a doctor when
prescribing an antibiotic to treat a patient with a bacterial infection.
(1)
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)

May 2011
1 Many scientists are concerned about the effect climate change could have
on the development of organisms. Climate change could have an effect on
the yield of many important farmed foods, such as maize, wheat, rice and
fish.
(a) Describe an experiment to investigate the effect of temperature (the
independent variable) on the development of organisms such as seedlings or
brine shrimps.
Include details of a suitable dependent variable.
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(b) (i) State two variables, other than temperature, which could affect this
investigation.
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(ii) Choose one of the variables from (i). Suggest how this variable could
have been controlled. Describe what effect it could have had on the results
if it had not been controlled.
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How to control the
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(c) Some plants are adapted to live in low environmental temperatures.


When the environmental temperature increases the gross primary
productivity increases, but the net primary productivity decreases. This may
cause the yield of some crops to decrease.
Explain why an increase in environmental temperature causes the yield of
some crops to decrease.
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(Total for Question 1 = 13 marks)

January 2012
1 Seeds contain a plant embryo and a food supply. Cell growth in the seeds
will begin when the temperature and moisture conditions are favourable.
During cell growth, enzymes break down the stored food supply and ATP is
generated by respiration.
(a) Describe an experiment to investigate the effect of temperature (the
independent variable) on the rate of respiration in seeds.
(5)
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(b) (i) State two variables, other than temperature, which could affect the
investigation.
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(ii) Choose one of the variables from (b)(i). Suggest how this variable could
have been controlled. Describe what effect it could have had on the results
if it had not been controlled.

(2)
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(c) If the seeds had not been exposed to any oxygen during this
investigation, suggest the effect this may have on the results. Give an
explanation for your answer.
(3)
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)

May 2012
1 The unwanted plants growing in a field of cereal crops are called weeds.
Selective weedkillers can be used on fields of cereal crops. These kill broadleaved weeds, without harming the cereal plants.
(a) Describe an experiment to investigate the effect of a new selective
weedkiller in a field containing cereal plants and broad-leaved weeds.
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(b) (i) Suggest two abiotic factors that are variables in the investigation.
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(ii) Choose one of the variables from (b)(i). Suggest how this variable could
be taken into account or have been controlled. Describe what effect this
variable could have had on the results.
(2)
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How the variable could be taken into account or controlled
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(c) Suggest how a selective weedkiller, containing a plant growth regulator
such as IAA, may be able to kill broad-leaved weeds.
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)

January 2013
1 Many fruits contain vitamin C. Fruits can decay quickly when stored at
room temperature. They are therefore sometimes stored in a refrigerator or
freezer.
(a) Describe an experiment to investigate the effect of storage temperature
on the vitamin C content of one type of fruit.
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(b) (i) State two variables which need to be controlled in this investigation.
(2)
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(ii) Choose one of the variables from (b)(i) above. Suggest how this
variable can be controlled. Describe what effect it could have on the results
if it is not controlled.
(2)
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How to control the variable
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(c) Suggest why storing fruit at low temperature slows down decay.
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)

May 2013
1 John thought that there was a difference in breathing when lying down
compared with when sitting on a chair.
He decided to test this, using traces from a spirometer.
(a) Describe how he could use data from spirometer traces to compare
breathing when lying down and when sitting on a chair.
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(b) (i) State two variables which need to be controlled to provide valid
spirometer traces.
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(ii) Choose one of the variables from (b)(i) above. Suggest how this
variable can be controlled. Describe what effect this variable could have on
the data from the spirometer traces if it is not controlled.
(2)
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(c) Suggest how breathing is controlled by the nervous system in response
to changing position from lying down to sitting on a chair.
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)

January 2014
1 Lemurs are primates found on the island of Madagascar. At least 33
different species of lemur are living on the island today. Scientists would like
to know how closely related the different species of lemur are.

In one study, the scientists collected tissue samples from several individuals
of eachspecies. For each sample, they examined the DNA sequences of five
different genes.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify the DNA in the
samples.
(a) Describe how to amplify a strand of DNA using the polymerase chain
reaction (PCR).
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(b) An enzyme is used in the amplification process. Describe two properties
of this enzyme that are relevant to its biological activity in this process.
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(c) Temperature is an important variable in the PCR.
Choose one step in the process you described in part (a) and explain why
changing the reaction temperature might reduce the production of DNA in
this reaction.
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(d) Suggest an explanation for each of the following statements.
(i) The scientists collected and analysed samples from more than one
individual of each species.
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(ii) For each sample, the scientists examined the DNA sequence of five
different genes.
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(Total for Question 1 = 13 marks)

June 2014
1 Snails can respond to a variety of stimuli, including touch. When a snail
experiences an unfamiliar stimulus, it will withdraw into its shell.
After repeated exposure to the same stimulus, the snail will stop responding
to the stimulus. This behavior is called habituation.

A snail magnification x2
(a) Describe how you could investigate the habituation of a snail to a
stimulus.
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(b) (i) State two variables, other than the stimulus, which could affect the
investigation.
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(ii) Choose one of these variables. Suggest how this variable could be
controlled.
Describe the effect the variable could have on the results if it is not
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(c) Suggest how calcium ions are involved in habituation in snails.

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(Total for Question 1 = 13 marks)

January 2015

1 A seed contains an embryo and a food supply. A seed will germinate when
it is placed in suitable conditions. The ATP required for growth and
germination is provided by respiration.
(a) Describe an experiment to determine the effect of temperature on the
rate of respiration in germinating seeds.
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(b) (i) State two variables, other than temperature, that could affect this
investigation.
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(ii) Suggest how one of the variables you have stated in (b)(i) could be
controlled. Describe what effect it could have on the results if it was not
controlled.
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(c) When seeds are placed in conditions suitable for germination, there is a
delay of several hours before respiration can be detected. Suggest an
explanation, in terms of metabolic processes, that might account for this
delay.
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(Total for Question 1 = 12 marks)