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Investigation Into Osmosis In Potato Cells.

2140 words - 9 pages

Osmosis CourseworkIntroduction to OsmosisOsmosis is a special kind of diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of particles from a high concentration to a low concentration until they are spread out evenly. Osmosis is the passage of water molecules from a region of high water concentration to a region of low water concentration through a selectively permeable membrane.How Osmosis WorksThe diagram above shows how water molecules move through the selectively permeable membrane from the region of high water concentration to the region of low water concentration until the concentration is equal on both sides of the membrane.Before OsmosisAfter OsmosisOsmosis in Plant CellsWater moves from cell to cell in plants by osmosis. The cell membrane of a plant cell is selectively permeable. So if a cell containing a weak solution (lots of water) is next to a cell with a stronger solution (less water), water moves by osmosis from the weak to the strong solution, as shown.To help me gather this information I used 'Biology for You' by Gareth Williams, and 'All About Biology' by Brian Beckett and RoseMarie Gallagher. I also used the website http://www.purchon.com/biology/osmosis.htm.Preliminary TasksAs a class group we did two preliminary practical tasks to introduce osmosis and how it works.The OsmometerThe first task demonstrated the process of osmosis. This apparatus is called an osmometer.Equipment·Clamp·Capillary tube·Visking tubing bag·Sugar solution·Distilled water·BeakerMethodWe set up the equipment as shown below and observed the level of liquid in the tube for the next 10-15 minutes.ResultsThe liquid in the capillary tube rose steadily over the time we observed it.ConclusionThe visking tubing is a selectively permeable membrane. This means it lets only some particles go through it. In this experiment it is only the water particles that can go through, as the glucose particles are too large. As the concentration of glucose particles is higher in the visking tubing bag and only the water particles can move about completely freely, the water particles from outside the bag move into it to even out the concentration. This happens because of diffusion. So as more water particles entered the visking tubing bag the level of liquid rose in the capillary tube.Osmosis in Potato CellsThe second task we did demonstrated that osmosis happens in potato cells.Equipment·Potato·Cork borer·Straight edge·Scalpel·Filter paper·Specimen bottles·Strong sugar solution·Distilled water·White tileMethodWe used the cork borer to cut three cylinders of potato, which we cut to the same length using the straight edge and scalpel. We blotted the surfaces dry using filter paper and weighed the cylinders to the nearest 0.01g. Then we put one cylinder in a specimen bottle containing 20cm3 of strong sugar solution, one in a specimen bottle containing 20cm3 of distilled water and one in an...

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