This week is a continuation of last week’s grab bag of MCAT discrete questions that Bryan and I covered so you can max your score come test day!
[01:10] Anatomy and Mnemonics
Question #44: Each of the following structures are derived from the mesoderm except:
- (A) Kidneys
- (B) Spinal cord
- (C) Triceps
- (D) Circulatory system
The standout here is the spinal cord because the brain, spinal cord, and nerves are all derived from ectoderm, along with things like the skin, hair, and the lens of the eye, and so on. So the correct answer here is (B).
You can use this mnemonic of the mesoderm as a “move-o-derm.” First, the move-d-derm controls how you move your body around such as bone, muscle, cartilage, and so on. Second, it controls how you move things inside of you (ex. circulatory system). The blood vessels are just muscular tubes but this plugs back into that idea of being a muscle. Third, the move-o-derm is so good that it doesn’t just move the body around or moves things around inside your body, but it also gives you the motivation to move. So if your lazy butt is sitting on the couch on any random Sunday and why do you get off the couch to move? Probably because you have to pee. So mesoderm gives you the kidneys, the excretory system, as well as the reproductive system.
Endoderm means inside so if it’s an internal organ and you don’t know, just guess endoderm like liver or spleen. Ectoderm is stuff on the outside so skin, hair, eyes, oh and by the way, brains.
[04:35] Chemistry and the Bases
Question: Which of the following compounds would not be useful as an antacid?
- (A) MgOH2
- (B) AlOH3
- (C) C2H5OH
- (D) CaCO3
The common mistake here would be to pick answer choice (D) Calcium carbonate which is the only that doesn’t have an OH and remembering that OH is a base so perhaps choices A, B, and C are all bases and D is not. However, answer choice (C) is ethanol which is an alcohol so it’s not a base at all. That OH there is not an OH- so they can break off. In fact, it has a basically neutral and ever so slightly acidic pH.
Whereas (A) Magnesium hydroxide and (B) Aluminum hydroxide are going to release an OH. They could counter an acid so they can be an antacid while (D) Calcium carbonate is literally the actual medical antacid we’ve all taken at some point. So the correct answer here is (C).
[06:14] Universal Emotions
Question #46: Three individuals, one from a large urban center in Canada, one from a remote world, which is a village in Bulgaria, and one from a tribe in the Brazilian jungle are presented with the following stimuli. Which of them is most likely to be interpreted the same way by all three individuals:
- (A) Hunched body posture and upright body posture
- (B) A facial grimace and a smile
- (C) A long loud sigh
- (D) A shout of a vulgar word in a romance language
There are the classic universal emotions that are expressed in our faces the same way everywhere. They’re just kind of hardwired into what it means to be a human brain with a face. Happy, sad, surprised, disgusted – these are things that are the same everywhere. So the facial expression here is absolutely the right answer.
[07:45] Key Takeaways
It’s always important for the little story I told about the move-o-derm. It moves your body. It moves the stuff inside you. It gives you the motivation to move. So it’s always important for those mnemonics to be something that you can connect with personally or tells a little story. Mnemonics are not just random strings of letters. Take the time and effort to build your own meaningful mnemonics and they will serve you well on test day.
[08:35] Next Step Test Prep
If you’re struggling with your MCAT prep and you’re deciding what to do for your MCAT prep, go check out Next Step Test Prep for your MCAT prep needs. They have ten full-length exams. They have a brand new MCAT course that includes 100+ hours of video. It like a do-it-yourself paced course but you also get access to live office hours five days a week. Use the promo code MCATPOD.
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Dr. Ryan Gray: The MCAT Podcast, session number 47.
A collaboration between the Medical School Headquarters and Next Step Test Prep, The MCAT Podcast is here to make sure you have the information you need to succeed on your MCAT test day. We all know that the MCAT is one of the biggest hurdles that you’ll face as a premed, and we are here to give you the motivation and information that you need to know to help you get the score you deserve so you can one day call yourself a medical student.
Now last week if you were here for us last week, which I hope you were, we had a grab-bag of discrete questions that we covered. This week we’re going to do more of the same, and next week as well. So let’s go ahead and dive right in.
Bryan back for another grab-bag of science for the MCAT. Again for you listening, if you want to follow along to go www.TheMCATPodcast.com/47 and you can download the handout that we’re looking at right now.
So I want to read this first one, question 44, because it has some words that I know in it. I don’t think I’m going to get it right, but I know the words in it. So 44. ‘Each of the following structures are derived from the mesoderm except: A) Kidneys, B) Spinal Cord, C) Triceps, or D) Circulatory System.
Bryan Schnedeker: Mesoderm.
Dr. Ryan Gray: All the way back to- man I can’t even think of the right term for this part in anatomy. What’s the word I’m looking for? Embryological development.
Bryan Schnedeker: Yeah that’s what they called it when I was in med school, and the class I took as an undergrad they called it vertebrate morphogenesis because they had to be all fancy about it.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. So I mean if I were to guess, I mean three of them are kind of similar so if we play that ‘which one of these is not like the other’ game; kidney, spinal cord, circulatory system, those are all kind of central and very important things, and then there’s tricep which is kind of the random one thrown in. So that’s what I would guess.
Bryan Schnedeker: Yeah and Ryan the logic that you brought to bear there was sort of a close but no cigar. Unfortunately it’s just the kind of entirely seemingly random nature of a lot of anatomy. The logic often doesn’t quite seem to plug in the way we’d like. So the standout here is actually the spinal cord because the brain and spinal cord nerves are all derived from ectoderm, along with things like the skin, and the hair, and the lens of the eye, and so on.
So mesoderm. The way I remember mesoderm, the pneumonic I use for it is the mesoderm is the ‘move-oderm.’ M for ‘meso,’ M for ‘move.’ And the way I think about it is, okay so first of all, the ‘move-oderm’ controls how you move your body around; bone, muscle, cartilage, and so on. Next the ‘move-oderm’ controls how you move things inside of you. Circulatory system. And you think about the blood vessels, right? What are they? They’re just muscular tubes, so there’s your muscle again, right? Kind of plugs back to that idea of muscle. And then finally the ‘move-oderm’ is so good that it doesn’t just move your body around, or move things around inside your body, the ‘move-oderm’ also give you the motivation to move. And frankly if my lazy butt is sitting there on the couch on any random Sunday and why am I going to get up off the couch to move? Well either because I have to pee, or because my gonads told me to. So mesoderm, it gives you the kidneys, the excretory system, as well as the reproductive, gives you gonads.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Nice. I like that. That’s an easy, easy way to remember. ‘Move-oderm.’
Bryan Schnedeker: ‘Move-oderm,’ yeah. Endoderm, right? Endo means inside, so if you’re ever like, ‘Oh it’s an internal organ and I don’t know,’ just guess endoderm. Liver, I don’t know, endoderm? Spleen, I don’t know, endoderm? Like lungs, I don’t know, endoderm? Right if you’re not sure, and it’s an internal organ, just guess endoderm. And then ectoderm, stuff on the outside. Right? Skin, hair, eyes, oh and by the way, brains.
Dr. Ryan Gray: And ‘oh by the way,’ yeah.
Bryan Schnedeker: Yeah.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay, I like it. Those are easy.
Bryan Schnedeker: Alright let’s take a look at- let’s shoot up and go to chemistry.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.
Bryan Schnedeker: Which of the following compounds would not be useful as an antacid? A) Mg(OH)2. B) AL(OH)3. C) C2H5OH. Or D) CaCO3. Not an antacid. Ryan, what do you think?
Dr. Ryan Gray: I’m going to go with my lucky ‘if I don’t know, choose C.’ C2H5OH.
Bryan Schnedeker: There you go.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Because it doesn’t look like the rest.
Bryan Schnedeker: Absolutely. Well it’s funny you say that it doesn’t look like the rest, because it has an OH.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, but different.
Bryan Schnedeker: Yeah it’s different. So the common mistake might be to pick answer choice D, calcium carbonate, CaCO3, and go, ‘Well it’s the only one that doesn’t have an OH, and I remember that OH is bases, so I’m going to say choices A, B, and C are all bases, and D is not. But in fact answer choice C, C2H5OH, that’s just ethanol. Good old drinking alcohol. So it’s not a base at all. That OH is not an OH minus that can break off. In fact it has a basically neutral or ever so slightly acidic PH. Whereas magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide, those are going to release an OH that could counter an acid, they could be an antacid. And calcium carbonate, that’s literally TUMS. I mean actual like medical antacid we’ve all eaten at some point is calcium carbonate.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, alright. I got one, finally.
Bryan Schnedeker: There you go. Alright, do you want to give us number 46?
Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, 46. Three individuals, one from a large urban center in Canada, one from a remote rural village in Bulgaria, and one from a tribe in the Brazilian jungle are presented with the following stimuli. Which of them is most likely to be interpreted the same way by all three individuals?
A) Hunched body posture and upright body posture. B) A facial grimace and a smile. C) A long, loud sigh. Or D) a shout of a vulgar word in a romance language.
So this one to me seems pretty straightforward, and I would go with the facial stuff because facial expressions is like- that’s how we communicate nonverbally. So facial grimace and a smile.
Bryan Schnedeker: Absolutely, yeah there you go, Ryan. There are the classic universal emotions that are expressed in our faces the same way, I mean as far as we know, everywhere. They’re just kind of hard-wired into what it means to be a human brain with a face. Happy, sad, surprised, disgusted; they’re these things that are the same everywhere. So the facial expressions, absolutely. So there you go, two for three, not bad today.
Dr. Ryan Gray: I’ll take it. Any big takeaways here from today’s scintillating episode?
Bryan Schnedeker: Absolutely. I just want to go back to that pneumonic we had for number 44 about the ‘move-oderm,’ and you and I have talked about pneumonics before, and it’s always important for like the little story that I told about the ‘move-oderm.’ Move your body, moves the stuff inside you, gives you the motivation to move. It’s always important for those pneumonics to be something that kind of you connect with personally, or the way I did it, tells a little story. Remember pneumonics aren’t just random strings of letters, right? Take the time and effort to build your own meaningful pneumonics and they will serve you well on test day.
Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright there you have it, some more grab-bag discrete questions. Again go to www.TheMCATPodcast.com/47 to download the actual handout for this episode.
I hope you got something useful out of this episode. If you are struggling with your MCAT prep, if you’re deciding what to do for your MCAT prep, I highly recommend you go check out Next Step Test Prep for your MCAT prep needs. They have ten full length exams, they have a brand new MCAT course that includes 100+ hours of video plus. So it’s kind of a do-it-yourself paced thing, paced course, but you also get access to live office hours five days a week, which is unheard of.
So go check out Next Step Test Prep and use the promo MCATPOD, that’s all capital letters MCATPOD, go to www.NextStepMCAT.com.
I hope you have a great week, don’t forget to check us out next week here at The MCAT Podcast. If you do not subscribe to this podcast, if you’re just listening to this on the website, on whatever, go subscribe to this. You’ll get it every week for free. Go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/howtosubscribe we’ll show you how to subscribe to this podcast.
Have a great week, we’ll see you next time here at The MCAT Podcast.
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