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The Effect Of Temperature On A Cell Membrane's Permeability

1160 words - 5 pages

Aim:This experiment aims to determine what effect an increase in the surrounding temperature has on the plasma membrane of a typical plant cell structure.Hypothesis:An increase in temperature will damage and denature the plasma membrane and cause the cytoplasm and other substances contained within the membrane to leak out.Introduction:The purpose of a cell membrane is to control the transport of substances moving into and out of a cell. The membrane is an extremely thin layer (8 to 10 manometers (nm)) thick, which is partially permeable. It consists mostly of lipids and proteins. The lipids found in cell membranes belong to a class known as triglycerides, so called because they have one molecule of glycerol chemically linked to three molecules of fatty acids. The majority belong to one subgroup of triglycerides known as phospholipids.Despite their many differences in appearance and function, all cells have a surrounding membrane (called the plasma membrane) enclosing a water-rich substance called the cytoplasm. All cells host a variety of chemical reactions that enable them to grow, produce energy, and eliminate waste. Together these reactions are termed metabolism (from a Greek word meaning, "change"). All cells contain hereditary information, encoded in molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), that directs the cell's activities and enables it to reproduce, passing on its characteristics to its offspring. These and other numerous similarities (including many identical or nearly identical molecules) demonstrate that there is an unbroken link between modern cells and the first primitive cells that appeared on earth.In the cells of a beetroot plant, a substance called anthocyanin is contained within the plasma membrane. It is anthocyanin, which gives the beetroot its characteristic blue/purple colour. If a cell is damaged in a beetroot plant and the membrane is broken, the anthocyanin 'bleeds' from the cells like a dye. It is this characteristic that can be exploited to test which conditions affect the integrity of the cell membrane.Because we are experimenting with the effects of temperature on the membrane, we will place the samples of beetroot into a water baths of varying temperatures and measure the colour change in the water. Temperature is just one of the possible variables. Others include effects of poisonous substances such as alcohol and/or various solvents. The dependant variable (DV) in this experiment is colour change in water caused by anthocyanin leakage.Materials:Beetroot Plant Corers (various diameters) White tile Heat proof mat Bunsen burner Tripod Gauze Beaker (for water bath) Thermometer ColorimeterDistilled Water7 test tubes containing 10cm³ of waterTongsScalpelStop-clockTest tube rackMethods:Before the experiment can start, the beetroot must first be prepared. To do this, we need the white tile and the corers. The same diameter corer must be used for all the pieces so keep the surface area of each beetroot piece fairly...

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