MCAT Biology Practice Test 3: Embryogenesis and Development

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1. Which of the following developmental stages has the greatest nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio?

  • A. Eight-cell embryo
  • B. Morula
  • C. Blastula
  • D. Zygote

2. Which of the following associations of a primary germ layer and an adult organ is correct?

  • A. Endoderm—cardiac muscle
  • B. Endoderm—lens of the eye
  • C. Ectoderm—fingernails
  • D. Mesoderm—lungs

3. From which of the following layers does the notochord form?

  • A. Ectoderm
  • B. Mesoderm
  • C. Endoderm
  • D. Archenteron

4. The influence of a specific group of cells on the differentiation of another group of cells is called:

  • A. competence.
  • B. senescence.
  • C. determination.
  • D. induction.

5. Which of the following is likely to be found in maternal blood during pregnancy?

  • A. Immunoglobulins produced by the fetus
  • B. Fetal hemoglobin released from fetal red blood cells
  • C. Progesterone produced by placental cells
  • D. Carbon dioxide exhaled from fetal lungs

6. A cell releases a substance that diffuses through the environment, resulting in differentiation of a nearby cell. This is an example of what type of cell–cell communication?

  • A. Autocrine
  • B. Juxtacrine
  • C. Paracrine
  • D. Endocrine

7. A cancer cell is removed from a patient and cultured. The cells in this culture seem to be able to divide indefinitely with no cellular senescence. Which peptide is likely activated in these cells that accounts for this characteristic?

  • A. Epidermal growth factor
  • B. Sonic hedgehog
  • C. Transforming growth factor beta
  • D. Telomerase

8. A tumor is removed from a patient, and when investigated by pathologists, appears to contain tissue resembling placenta, hair, thyroid tissue, and cardiac muscle. What was the likely potency of the cells from which this tumor originated?

  • A. Nonpotent
  • B. Multipotent
  • C. Pluripotent
  • D. Totipotent

9. Which of the following is FALSE with regard to adult stem cells?

  • A. They retain inherent pluripotency if harvested from selected organs.
  • B. They are less controversial than embryonic stem cells.
  • C. They require treatment with various transcription factors.
  • D. There is a reduced risk of rejection if patient's own stem cells are used.

10. A child is born with webbed toes. This pathology is most likely accounted for by a failure of:

  • A. cell differentiation.
  • B. cell determination.
  • C. apoptosis.
  • D. neurulation.

11. Following a myocardial infarction, the heart often heals by the creation of a scar by fibroblasts. This is an example of:

  • A. complete regeneration.
  • B. incomplete regeneration.
  • C. competency.
  • D. multipotency.

12. Neurofibromatosis type I, or von Recklinghausen's disease, is a disorder that causes formation of tumors in multiple nervous system structures as well as the skin. While all cells carry the same mutation on chromosome 17, selective transcription of the genome appears to cause the most significant tumorogenesis in which of the following primary germ tissue layers?

  • A. Ectoderm
  • B. Mesoderm
  • C. Endoderm
  • D. Notochord

13. Which of the following shows the correct order of early developmental milestones during embryogenesis?

  • A. Blastula → gastrula → morula
  • B. Morula → gastrula → blastula
  • C. Morula → blastula → gastrula
  • D. Gastrula → blastula → morula

14. A pregnant women is accidentally given a single dose of a teratogenic drug late in the third trimester. The baby is born three days later. Which of the following is the most likely outcome?

  • A. Complete failure of organ development and death of the fetus
  • B. Partial failure of organ development with survival of the fetus
  • C. Serious disfigurement of the fetus
  • D. Respiratory distress at birth, but no long-term effects

15. Which of the following statements regarding fetal circulation is FALSE?

  • A. In the umbilical cord, there are more arteries than veins.
  • B. The foramen ovale is the only shunt that connects two chambers of the heart.
  • C. Blood flow in the ductus arteriosus is from the aorta to the pulmonary artery.
  • D. The ductus venosus is the only shunt that bypasses the liver.