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Due to significant advances in biotechnology, experts predict that within years, doctors will be able to trace the genetic roots of common medical problems such as depression and bi-polar syndrome. As a result, some physicians predict that these conditions and others like them will be all but eliminated through early identification and genetic therapy.
The argument above is based most heavily upon which of the following assumptions?
Correct Answer: B

The argument concludes that "common medical problems such as depression" "will be all but eliminated through early identification and genetic therapy." This is based upon the assumption that the only cause of these common medical problems is a treatable genetic deformity. If this assumption proves false (and problems arise from non-genetic issues), the argument's conclusion is not logical as the genetic therapy would not stop common medical problems that were caused by non-genetic factors.

  1. The original argument does not pertain to the number of treatments for common medical problems but rather pertains to the ability of early identification and genetic therapy to eliminate common medical problems. Consequently, whether there is only one method (the one described) or one million methods is irrelevant.
  2. This answer points out that if common medical problems arise either in part or in whole for reasons that are not genetic, early genetic detection and therapy will not rectify the problem. The assumption that these common medical problems are based entirely on treatable genetic malformations is an essential part of the argument.
  3. This may be a logical result (or consequence) if the original argument proves to be true. However, it is not a necessary assumption for the original argument to be true.
  4. The original argument pertains to the ability of doctors to treat "common medical problems" when they exist not whether these "common medical problems" exist in everyone. Further, the original argument hinges on the assumption that these problems are rooted in genetic defects and treatable via genetic therapy.
  5. The original argument pertains to common medical problems such as depression and not to "each human defect or sickness." Further, the original argument assumes that genetic therapy alone is sufficient to treat the problem while this answer simply states that all human defects or sickness can be traced in part to (and not necessarily treated by) genetics.

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