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SAT Question for October 4th

Paired Passages—Genomes

Passage 1
        Coffee is a pillar of the world economy,        generating both jobs and profits. The plant produced        revenue to the tune of $15.4 billion in 2013 alone.        The coffee industry is also one of the world’s largest(5)    employers, supporting 26 million employees.        Because of the global importance of coffee, scientists        at the University at Buffalo and their international        colleagues were compelled to sequence the genome        of the most popular coffee plant. In the genome lies(10)    the secrets of the bold flavor that people around the        world have come to enjoy daily, as well as the caf-        feine kick that comes along with it. This new genetic        information can be used to expand the market by        creating new types of coffee varieties. The results of(15)    the study can also safeguard the existing industry.        Scientists can now modify the genetic material of        the coffee plant. Heartier strains of popular cof-        fee types can be created so that they are resistant to        drought, disease, and bugs.(20)    Researchers began their work by sequencing        the genome of the type of coffee that makes up        30 percent of all coffee production. The conclu-        sions drawn from this study will help save money        and resources during the coffee production process.(25)    Researchers were able to isolate the genetic informa-        tion of the enzymes in the coffee plant that produce        caffeine. With this information, it may be possible        to reduce or eliminate caffeine from coffee. This        would remove a costly step in the current process(30)    of extracting caffeine from the coffee beans, while        expanding the coffee market to people who avoid        caffeine for health reasons, such as high blood pres-        sure or pregnancy. The same research team plans        to sequence the genome of other types of coffee in(35)    the future. It is their hope that the information will        benefit the coffee producer, consumer, and also the        environment.
Passage 2
        The Gibbon Genome Sequencing Consortium has        successfully sequenced the genome of the Northern(40)    white-cheeked gibbon. Both gibbons and humans        have DNA that changes during the course of their        lifetime. Some DNA changes in humans are the        result of mutations, which cause cancer and other        diseases. The changes in gibbons’ DNA have resulted(45)    in many changes to the species over a very short        period of time. Although gibbons are close relatives        to humans, their DNA changes do not cause disease.        Understanding the pattern of the gibbon genome        might turn out to be very important to humans. If(50)    these changes in DNA can be understood, scientists        may be able to use the information to better under-        stand human disease.        Cancer and other genetic diseases are caused by        faulty gene regulation. Scientists have sought to under-(55)    stand human biology through the lens of gibbon DNA        structures for some time. Until now, there has simply        been too much information to analyze. The endless re-        arrangements made it difficult to align gibbon DNA to        that of humans, but it has finally been accomplished.(60)    Scientists discovered a piece of DNA that is unique        to the gibbon species. Gibbons have a specific repeat        element, or a piece of DNA that copies itself multi-        ple times throughout the genome. Repeat elements,        in both gibbons and humans, are related to the(65)    maintenance of genetic structures. Scientists hope        to be able to answer the question “Why can gibbon        DNA rearrange itself without causing diseases—        unlike humans’ DNA?” If this complicated biological        question can be solved, scientists may be able to work(70)    backward in order to help stop cancer, heart failure,        and other human disease related to genetic repeats.

As used in line 65, “maintenance” most nearly means

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