Q21 healthy lungs produce a natural antibiotic that

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Q21: Healthy lungs produce a natural antibiotic that protects them from infection by routinely killing harmful bacteria on airway surfaces. People with cystic fibrosis, however, are unable to fight off such bacteria, even though their lungs produce normal amounts of the antibiotic. The fluid on airway surfaces in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis has an 23
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abnormally high salt concentration; accordingly, scientists hypothesize that the high salt concentration is what makes the antibiotic ineffective. Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the scientists’ hypothesis? A. When the salt concentration of the fluid on the airway surfaces of healthy people is raised artificially, the salt concentration soon returns to normal. B. A sample of the antibiotic was capable of killing bacteria in an environment with an unusually low concentration of salt. C. When lung tissue from people with cystic fibrosis is maintained in a solution with a normal salt concentration, the tissue can resist bacteria. D. Many lung infections can be treated by applying synthetic antibiotics to the airway surfaces. E. High salt concentrations have an antibiotic effect in many circumstances. Answer: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Q22 to Q25: Most pre-1990 literature on busi- nesses’ use of information technology (IT)—defined as any form of computer- Line based information system—focused on (5) spectacular IT successes and reflected a general optimism concerning IT’s poten- tial as a resource for creating competitive advantage. But toward the end of the 1980’s, some economists spoke of a (10) “productivity paradox”: despite huge IT investments, most notably in the service sectors, productivity stagnated. In the retail industry, for example, in which IT had been widely adopted during the (15) 1980’s, productivity (average output per hour) rose at an average annual rate of 1.1 percent between 1973 and 1989, com- pared with 2.4 percent in the preceding 25-year period. Proponents of IT argued (20) that it takes both time and a critical mass of investment for IT to yield benefits, and some suggested that growth figures for the 1990’s proved these benefits were finally being realized. They also argued (25) that measures of productivity ignore what would have happened without investments in IT—productivity gains might have been even lower. There were even claims that IT had improved the performance of the 24
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(30) service sector significantly, although mac- roeconomic measures of productivity did not reflect the improvement. But some observers questioned why, if IT had conferred economic value, it did (35) not produce direct competitive advantages for individual firms. Resource-based theory offers an answer, asserting that, in general, firms gain competitive advan- tages by accumulating resources that are (40) economically valuable, relatively scarce, and not easily replicated. According to a recent study of retail firms, which con- firmed that IT has become pervasive and relatively easy to acquire, IT by (45) itself appeared to have conferred little advantage.
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