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Investigation on how the concentration of ethanol would affect the plasma membrane in a beetroot cell

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Investigation on how the concentration of ethanol would affect the plasma membrane in a beetroot cell Aim My aim is to find out how ethanol affects the plasma membrane of a beetroot cell. When the plasma membrane is broken, then the liquid in the cytoplasm come out. Because the liquid is purple, I can measure the intensity of the colour using a colorimeter. I can therefore know how much damage different concentration of ethanol would do to the plasma membrane of a beetroot cell. Planning The following apparatus are needed: A beetroot A cork borer A ruler A cutter 6 small cylinders 5 different concentration of ethanol (I have decided to use 80%, 60% 40% 20% 10% and distilled water) A syringe (10ml) 6 cuvettes A colorimeter Method: > Before doing the experiment, apron and safety specs should be wearied. ...read more.


> After the solution is ready, I need to pour the solution in at the same time so the result will not be bias. > Use a stop watch to time it, after it reached 2 minutes, shake the cylinder gently, so that all the colour of the solution in the cylinder should be evenly spread out. > Pour the solution from different cylinder into 6 different cuvettes. > Filled one of the cuvette with distilled water and use I as a control. > Put the control cubic in the colorimeter, and, then put the cuvette in once at a time, record the reading shown in the screen. I need to control some variables that would affect the intensity of the solution in order to it a fair experiment and therefore have a reliable result. The surface area of the slices of beetroot must be the same and I also need to make sure that they are not overlap during the experiment as this could also differ the surface area. ...read more.


So, the more concentrated the ethanol I used, the more damage (cut open) the plasma membrane, therefore the more the cytoplasm leaks out, making the colour more intense. The data plotted on the graph are all very close to the line of best fit drawn above, except one. The 'outlier' shows that if it is pure water we used (0% of ethanol), then the colour intensity will be zero, suggesting that there will be no damage do to the plasma membrane as the purple liquid inside the cytoplasm did not leak out. Ethanol is able to damage the plasma membrane of beetroot cell because I know that cell wall consists of 2 layer of phospholipid. It can be shown clearly in a fluid mosaic model: Ethanol is therefore able to dissolve the lipid on the plasma membrane, destroying it, causing the contents in the cytoplasm to leak out. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alice Lee ...read more.

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