A scientist has a dish full of a gel made of long protein polymers. The scientist covers the dish with a small amount of water and leaves it alone for one month. The scientist comes back and tests some of the water. The scientist finds that the water contains trace amounts of the individual amino acids in the gel; in other words, the gel is almost entirely intact.
The scientist then adds a solution containing a second protein. After twelve hours, the gel is almost completely dissolved and abundant free amino acids can be detected in the water.
What statements below BEST suggest what happened in this example?
Select ALL that apply.