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Café Synthetique Christmas Quiz Answers

Answers to a subset of quiz questions

Synthetic Biology

1. What does CRISPR stand for?

A: Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats

2. What percentage of sequenced bacteria are CRISPRS found in?

C: 40%

3. The Food and Drug Administration approved this genetically engineered food for human consumption in 2015:

C: AquAdvantage Salmon

4. In 2016, news broke that researchers had genetically modified mushrooms so that they …

B: Wouldn’t brown when cut

5. This program aims to use advanced biotechnologies to engineer insects that can protect crops:

B: Insect Allies

6. Gene drives were recently used to address drug resistance in which pathogen?

A: Candida albicans


Discovery of DNA

From the NCBE DNA 50 quiz compiled by Dean Madden

1. What is special about 19–20 Portugal Place, Cambridge (The Golden Helix, the Cricks’ former home)?

A: it has a single helix on the wall outside

2. Why did Jim Watson’s mother try to prevent him from going to Cambridge in 1951?

B: she thought he should be “taught a lesson" and she even wrote to his research funders to tell them so!

3. Where was DNA discovered?

B: Germany (but by a Swiss physician)

4. In Watson and Crick’s 1953 letter to Nature, who drew the diagram of the double helix?

B: Odile Crick, Francis Crick's wife (who is an accomplished artist)

5. What organism did the DNA samples used by Rosalind Franklin come from?

B: Calf thymus (or 'thymonucleate', as they called it then. The DNA was given to her by Maurice Wilkins, who had obtained it from Rudolf Singer at a Royal Society meeting several years before).

6. What did Rosalind Franklin ask for for her 29th birthday in 1949?

C: a subscription to a scientific journal (Acta Crystallographica, although Franklin was an accomplished seamstress and keen hill-walker and would probably have welcomed any of these presents).