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IB DP 2025 Biology Questions

1.3 Origins of Cells

Question 1

Which of the following is NOT a condition believed to have been present on early Earth, leading to the formation of organic molecules?

A. High levels of free oxygen

B. High concentrations of carbon dioxide

C. Presence of simple molecules like methane and ammonia

D. Frequent lightning storms

Question 2

Why are viruses not considered living organisms?

A. They can replicate independently

B. They lack cellular structure

C. They can perform metabolic processes

D. They respond to their environment

Question 3

Which of the following is NOT a challenge in explaining the spontaneous origin of cells?

A. Formation of simple organic molecules

B. Creation of a genetic code

C. Development of a metabolism

D. Instant formation of modern cells

Question 4

What was the primary significance of the Miller-Urey experiment?

A. It demonstrated the spontaneous generation of life

B. It showed how DNA could be synthetically created

C. It simulated early Earth conditions and produced amino acids

D. It disproved the need for oxygen in the formation of organic molecules

Question 5

How do scientists believe RNA molecules could have been significant in the origin of life?

A. They could store genetic information and catalyse chemical reactions

B. They could form lipid bilayers

C. They were the first forms of DNA

D. They could produce oxygen through photosynthesis

Question 6

a) Discuss the environmental conditions on early Earth and their implications for the formation of carbon compounds. [4]

b) Evaluate the significance of the Miller–Urey experiment in our understanding of the origin of carbon compounds. [3]

Question 7

a) Explain why viruses are considered non-living entities, distinguishing them from living cells. [3]

b) Describe the challenges associated with explaining the spontaneous origin of the first cells. [4]

Question 8

a) Discuss the role of RNA as the presumed first genetic material and its functions that supported early life. [4]

b) Examine the evidence supporting the hypothesis that the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) evolved near hydrothermal vents. [3]

Question 9

a) Analyse the role of environmental conditions on early Earth in the spontaneous formation of carbon compounds. [4]

b) Explain the process and significance of vesicle formation in the context of the origins of cells. [3]

c) Discuss the RNA world hypothesis and its implications for the evolution of early life forms. [4]

Question 10

a) Evaluate the Miller–Urey experiment's contributions to our understanding of abiogenesis. [3]

b) Describe the properties of RNA that support its role as the first genetic material. [4]

c) Examine the concept of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) and the evidence that supports its existence. [4]

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