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Complete Question Explanation

(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14646)

Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (E)

In approaching this Must Be True question, we need to eliminate responses that are contrary to the facts
and inferences within the passage.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice states that nerve cells produce anti-NGF, and is therefore
unsupported by the passage, which never indicates precisely where anti-NGF is produced.

Answer choice (B): This choice asserts that cells not affected by NGF are less numerous than those
affected by NGF, and that the different cells have the same qualities. While the passage does support the
idea that there are different types of cells, not all of which are affected by NGF, but no further detail is
offered as to similarities or quantitative comparisons.

Answer choice (C): The passage does suggest that a significant number of nerve cells probably die off
in the process of an organism’s development. However, since the passage never offers any information
about the relative number of surviving cells, the conclusion that “few” cells are needed is unsupported.

Answer choice (D): Nothing in the passage indicates that some nerve cells have the capacity to change
into other types of living tissue, so this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, as it is supported by the discussion in the
second paragraph. The passage states that an embryo initially produces more nerve cells than needed, and that the extra cells die off, which already supports the idea that the embryo produces nerve cells that
do not end up connecting to anything. Furthermore, the second paragraph indicates that NGF governs
the process by which some nerve cells develop and others die off (lines 14-26), and the third paragraph
explains, in detail, that NGF is the causal factor that helps direct nerve cells toward target cells. It is
reasonable to conclude that since some nerve cells will die off, they do not receive NGF, and do not
connect with target cells.
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2019 Bible Pg. 402 (Levi-Montalcini) - Question 18


I am not sure that I agree with your explanation of answer choice (C) of Question 18 in the 2019 LGB.
I understand the situation as: If there are 100 nerve cells, only, say, 50 of them are necessary to target cells, so only these are selected by NGF and are directed towards the target cells, while the other half die.
In your explanation of (C), you say: "since the passage never offers any information about the relative number of surviving cells," we cannot say that only "few" cells survive.
I think I see what you are saying: there can be 50, 60, or 70 surviving cells, so they are not necessarily 'few' in number.
But I think the 'few nerve cells' in answer choice (C) refers to a different group of nerve cells.
(C) says: "few of the nerve cells that connect with target cells..." (that is, few of the 50 cells that do connect to (that are necessary to) the target cells) "are needed by the organism..."
In other words, I think (C) can mean something like: only 3 of the 50 surviving nerve cells that are necessary to target cells are necessary to the organism itself.
Such a piece of information has not been given in the passage, so I think (C) is incorrect.
Please let me know whether my line of thought is correct.

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Hi Harry!

You are correct that any statement that is not supported by the passage would be an incorrect answer for this question. So it sounds like however you interpret answer choice (C), it is unsupported by the passage and therefore incorrect. I'm not sure the distinction you are trying to make is a necessary one--though I appreciate your close reading! Ultimately, the passage gives us no information about the relative number of cells that survive or the relative number that connect to their target cells. For all we know, all of the surviving cells connect to their target cells. But either way you look at it, the passage doesn't give you enough information to support answer choice (C) so it is definitely incorrect!

Hope this helps!

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Would C be valid if it said "Few of the nerve cells are needed by the organism in which they develop."?

When the passage says "many of the immature nerve cells produced in the development of an organism are normally programmed to die", does that means there are FEW immature nerve cells that are NOT normally programmed to die?

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