An Investigation To Show How Water Temperature And Alcohol Concentration Affect Membrane Permeability

1290 words - 5 pages

An Investigation to Show How Water Temperature and Alcohol Concentration Affect Membrane Permeability

Aim The aim of the experiment is to show the cell’s membrane
permeability is affected by being placed into different temperatures
of water. Also the effect of placing beetroot in to different
concentrations of alcohol.

Beetroot cells contain a red sap, which leaks out of the cells if
their membranes are damaged or altered. Cell membranes are made up of
a bilayer of phospholipids, which also contains proteins. Which either
float around or are fixed. Some are found in the inner or outer layer
and some span the whole membrane Carbohydrate chains attach themselves
to the external membrane forming glycoproteins and glycolipids. It
also contains cholesterol. We will be able to tell how damaged they
are because we will see a deeper coloured red in the water from where
more of the red sap has leaked out of the cells.

Method A fresh cylinder of beetroot was taken and using a scalpel any
skin was removed. Care should be taken when a scalpel is used to cut
objects into small pieces. It was then cut into 40 discs using the
scalpel. Next the discs were placed in a boiling tube and rinsed
repeatedly in till the water ran clear. Then two sets of five boiling
tubes were set up into racks. Then using a measuring cylinder measured
10cm³ of tap water was placed in five of the boiling tubes of the set
that would be testing the effect of different temperatures. These were
then left in the different water baths to adjust to the temperature.
The other five had 10cm³ different concentrations of alcohol ranging
from 25%-100%. There was also one with 10cm³ of water. Next four discs
of the beetroot were placed into each boiling tube. They were then
left for about 10 minutes. While this was going on the colorimeter was
set up and adjusted with water ‘blank’ to 100% transmission using a
blue/green filter. When each sample had been left for a sufficient
amount of time some of the bathing liquid was removed from each
beetroot sample. It was then placed in the colorimeter. Readings were
then taken and recorded.

Temp (°C) Transmission (%)

7 80
20 92
40 94
60 19
87 12

Results 1:
Alcohol (%) Transmission (%)

0 88
25 54
50 38

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