Shan wrote:Quick note: I think the fertilization/gastrula/archenteron question referred to a "haploid zygote." I have no idea if such a thing exists, but I suspect the question was meant to read "diploid zygote."
I see my standard critiquing style has been skewered. I'll try to post more thoughts later, but while I'm reading these packets I wanted t point out one error. The bonus part on "dynamic instability" isn't quite right
 This term refers to the sudden switching between polymerization and depolymerization in a microtubule due to GTP and GDP bound tubulin having different affinities for it. It was discovered by Mitchison and Kirchner
I interpreted that bonus as talking about the actual switch from polymerization TO depolymerization, so I answered "catastrophe". There's a better way to phrase this part to get the answer you're looking for.
DRAGOON Packet 11 wrote:This is the lightest particle to be an eigenstate of the G-parity operator but not the charge conjugation operator. The decay of the phi meson into three of these particles is suppressed since the Feynman diagram can be cut in two while cutting only internal gluon lines according to the OZI rule. Since the kaon can decay into either two or three of these particles, the kaon was originally thought to be two particles: the tau and the theta. The primary decay mode for the (*) neutral version of this particle is into two photons, while charged versions will decay into a muon and a muon neutrino. The exchange of one of these particles between two nucleons was predicted by Hideki Yukawa to mediate the strong force. For 10 points, and up or down quark and an up or down antiquark compose what lightest meson?
ANSWER: pion [or pi meson, accept more specific answers like pi+ or pi- or pi0]
I guess you can prompt on "meson" on a buzz before the clues about the pion's decay modes despite the fact that the word "meson" is used in the question (I could see someone buzzing in on the kaon decay clue and saying that if they weren't paying enough attention for example), but all the clues are specific to the pi. After power though, I would absolutely not prompt.
Eric wrote:-This keratin tossup suffers from a few too obscure leadins, in my opinion. Despite searching and searching I can't figure out what IRS cells are, and the leadin about keratinocytes isn't unique (any protein produced by keratinocytes could be the answer; I had to wait till later to figure out which protein you mean)
IRS cells are "inner root sheath" cells--three words I deemed too easy/transparent for the 2nd line of a regular difficulty tossup. I figured trichohyalin was the meat of the clue anyway. Noted about the wording of the first clue though.
Eric wrote:-To me, this nebula bonus has two hard parts (dark nebula and pillars of creation). This was not a systemic problem with th set, though it did occur occasionally
-In the Poisson equation, isn't it the Laplacian of the [scalar] potential, not the voltage (which is a difference of scalar potentials)?
I believe Ike intended "dark nebula" to be the medium part. Regarding voltage vs potential, I've always used the terms interchangeably and was taught they are the same thing. (So like, Ohm's Law should actually say "delta V = IR." Looking around the internet, I see people that call them the same thing, people that refer to voltage as a difference in potential, and people that think the term voltage should go die in a fire and that you should use the term emf. If that bonus (or my other fluid mech bonus that went velocity/(scalar) potentials/stream function) confused anyone let me know.
Eric wrote:-Cameron Orth did something very nice while reading this bonus part on cis-acting elements - he emphasized the word "same". Italicizing that word would be immensely helpful for comprehension, because otherwise all you're hearing is that this is a category of things involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation.
Eric wrote:-This bonus part on difference equations seems poorly chosen. Not only are the terms "recurrence relation" and "difference equation" often outright interchangeable, you don't really describe what a difference equation in the strict sense is.
Considering that was supposed to be a hard part, a description of what a recurrence relation is might make it too easy. Looking around the internet, this seems like a "do you know this specific term that your professor/textbook may or may not have even used" bonus part. I've played with the bonus a little and have produced this bonus, which is admittedly easier than the previous incarnation.
DRAGOON Packet 3 wrote:13. Applying this operation to 1 yields the result 1/s. For 10 points each:
 Name this mathematical operation which can transform differential equations into algebraic equations. It converts a function expressed in the time domain into its moments.
ANSWER: Laplace transform
 While the Laplace transform is useful for dealing with continuous signals, the z-transform is more commonly used on signals with this property, which is contrasted with continuity.
 In working up to the general technique of his namesake transform, Laplace applied a Mellin integral to this type of equation in an attempt to find a general solution for it. These equations can be solved by unrolling or by applying a z-transform .
ANSWER: difference equation [accept “recurrence relation.” Do not accept any other answers.]
Eric wrote:-This morpholinos bonus part is insufficiently clear. The only thing distinguishing them from siRNAs is the name of the guy who invented them. The whole point of using morpholinos (which are incidentally overasked) is that you get steric hindrance and blocked translation instead of straight-up degradation of the product. Tldr this is accomplished because they have a phosphorodiamidate linkage instead of the standard phosphate linkage /Tldr. Either of these things would have made that bonus part gettable.
The point of giving you the name of the guy who invented them was to tell you that these are synthetic molecules (unlike siRNAs), with the added bonus of hey, maybe someone in qb has had a professor that worked with him once or something, you never know. I'll just explicitly call them synthetic. Here's the bonus part you played:
DRAGOON Packet 4 wrote:9. Designed by James Summerton, these molecules are a commonly used tool to facilitate gene knockdown. For 10 points each:
 Name these antisense oligomers which bind to a target site on RNA, blocking cellular processes from acting on the target site.
Which I think IS explicitly unique (I did use the word "blocking") but the bonus part is rather short, and if you didn't hear one or two keywords correctly, I can see how this would be frustrating to play. I'll beef this up a little.
Incidentally, why are these overasked? I've never seen a question explicitly ask them before--I've only seen them used as a clue occasionally (mostly in zebrafish tossups) so I figured this would be a new/creative way of asking about something that only comes up a little bit to begin with. I know that I strive to ask about underasked things as much as possible, and while I can do this well in chemistry and physics because I have so much varied classwork to draw on, I struggle when I try to do this for biology. Sometimes it literally comes down to something like "Gautam Kandlikar brought this thing up once and it has never come up in quiz bowl since but the internet is telling me this is important, time to incorporate it into one of my questions." If you could let me know what bonus parts/clues you thought in the bio for DRAGOON are over/underasked material, I'd greatly appreciate it. I definitely don't want to do the biology equivalent of writing a tossup on the Casimir effect or a bonus that goes Michael addition / aldol condensation / Robinson annulation.
Stephen wrote:To be That Guy: yeah, the last two bonus parts are incorrect. Openness is retained under finite intersection and arbitrary union (finite, countably infinite, or uncountably infinite). Similarly, Tychonoff's theorem states that any product of compact topological spaces is compact, whether a finite product, countably infinite product, or uncountably infinite product. I doubt either of those errors would confuse someone who knew what the prompts meant, but they should probably be changed for accuracy's sake.
Ashvin wrote:I might have more to say later; briefly: the beginning of the tossup on "pressure" states "this quantity equals two-fifths times the density times the Fermi energy". You should probably specify that you're talking about a "number density", since "density" unqualified typically refers to "mass density", which was confusing to me, because no useful quantity has units of mass density times energy.
It is strange that in the bonus part on "fine structure constant" you have a prompt on "1/137". Not only can I not imagine anyone ever saying this, if someone were to say this, they would be incorrect.
Although I could argue that there's no way something called the "free-electron model" would concern itself with a "mass density," it's completely unreasonable to expect a player to parse that and you're absolutely right.
Yeah, I guess that's technically true (since obviously alpha is not exactly 1/137) I probably added that in my zeal to make sure no one got screwed by any of my bonuses.
Eric wrote:-This reduction potential tossup is the first of several in the chemistry distribution (including catalysts, fluorescence, etc) that took a very simple answerline and elegantly wrote a deep, rewarding tossup on it. This set did that with the science better than any other in recent memory and should be commended for it.
I'm glad you liked this--and this was entirely by design. This tournament didn't have many hard answerlines in the chem/physics (the hardest answerlines were like, nucleophillicity, chemical potential, pion, etc.) because I wanted to write hard tossups on easy answers. A lot of this came from often I would pick the clues before picking the answerline. (for example, we talked about the importance of magnetic pressure in my fusion class, so that became a tossup on pressure (I think this is generally a way better way to pick things to write about than saying "ok let's write a tossup on the Nernst equation" or whatever). Fluorescence was considered biology and written by Andrew, however.