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For each of the SLP assignments, you will be provided with a hypothetical experimental scenario or data. These assignments are more opened-ended than the case assignments. You will speculate about possible explanations and the ways they might be tested, but be sure to that your hypotheses are grounded in accepted biological science. In doing this, you will mimic the action of scientists who are continuously collecting new data, formulating hypotheses, and testing their ideas.

In a newly-explored deep-sea environment, several potentially new species of apparent bacteria have been discovered. In some of these single-celled life forms, a novel structure has been observed. The structure is apparently bound to the interior surface of the cell membrane and so does not float freely in the cytosol. Preliminary investigation indicates that this structure typically appears circular or ovoid in shape. It apparently consists of a long chain of nucleic acid wrapped around a tube of an unknown protein.

What approach would you use to isolate only cells that contain this new structure? What techniques could be used to characterize the structure and composition of the structure? How might you identify the type of protein and nucleic acid? What would you hypothesize to be the function of this structure? To what eukaryotic organelle might this structure be analogous and why?

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