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MCAT Question A Day - 7/10/13 - Answer

Sex hormones speed up bone production (ossification) by osteoblasts. If all other factors remain equal, which of the following predictions would have the greatest probability of being correct?

A.  Individuals who reach puberty early will stop growing early.
B.  Individuals who reach puberty early will stop growing late.
C.  Individuals who reach puberty late will stop growing early.
D.  Two of the above

The correct answer is (A). Since growth can continue as long as the cartilaginous cells in the epiphyseal plates continue to undergo mitosis, the sooner the cartilage ossifies (due to sex hormones), the sooner growth stops.