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Role of blood in the body and experiment. The aim of this experiment is to either prove or disprove the hypothesis that altitude training increases the bloods efficiency of carrying oxygen around the body.

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An investigation into the density of 'mock' blood. Background information Basic information about the circulatory system In order to transport oxygen and vital mineral and substances to and out of the organs and muscles of our bodies we have developed a circulatory system which consists of: * One four chambered heart - one side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood around the body (left) and is called systematic circulation. , the other side (right) pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs to become oxygenated. This system is known as the pulmonary circulation. * Arteries and arterioles - these have thick walls with smooth elastic layers .This is because these carry blood form the heart to the tissues and so the blood is high pressured. The elasticity helps to prevent them from becoming damaged. They are around 0.1-10mm in diameter so smaller than veins but larger than capillaries. The exception to them carrying oxygenated blood is the pulmonary artery as it carries deoxygenated blood from the tissues and body to the heart where it can be pumped to the lungs to be oxygenated. * Capillaries - these allow the exchange of substances (e.g. oxygen and co2) between the blood and the tissues. They have thin permeable walls so that the diffusion and exchange of materials is made easier by the shorter exchange pathway. The blood pressure in the capillaries changes as blood changes from oxygenated to deoxygenated. * Veins and venules - their function is to carry deoxygenated blood from tissues to the heart. they carry deoxygenated blood so therefore their walls are thin and made mostly of collagen. ...read more.


The organism derives its store of iron by absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. The organism conserves and constantly reuses the supply of iron. A deficiency of haemoglobin caused by a lack of iron leads to anaemia. What is altitude training? The main aim of altitude training is to increase red blood cells and haemoglobin mass. This improves the ability of blood to carry oxygen as it increase vo2 max and aerobic performance. www.wisegeek.com describes altitude training as 'a way to encourage the body to produce more red blood cells, which help improve endurance when performing activities at lower altitudes'. The purpose of altitude training therefore seems to be to increase the number of red blood cells within the blood. It is used by endurance athletes as it means oxygen can be carried to muscles more efficiently as there are more red blood cells available to carry the oxygen. The high altitudes mean that the atmospheric pressure around the individual is lower than what it is at sea level. This lower atmospheric pressure results in the oxygen pressure gradient between the lungs and the blood is reduced. This causes an increase in oxygen, which is detected by specialised cells in the kidneys and so the hormone erythropoietin is released. This hormone stimulates red blood cell production. The hormone enters the bone marrow and bind with the erythropoietin receptors on the stem cells. The stem cells then divide and form new red blood cells, which are then released into the blood stream. The aim of this experiment is to either prove or disprove the hypothesis that altitude training increases the bloods efficiency of carrying oxygen around the body. ...read more.


Overall altitude training does increase the density of blood as more red blood cells are present in the blood. Evaluation I feel my experiment gave reliable results, which were consistent with the facts that were stated in the background information. Moreover the chi squared statistical test showed that results gained were not down to chance. If I did this experiment again I would use blood samples from both female and males and maybe from different age groups. This would increase the validity of my results as the sample size would be larger. This data would also eliminate the possibility that the blood sample could have been contaminated or adjusted. The only problem with these alterations is that it may be considered unethical to take blood from children to test for density changes. In terms of reliability, I think that my results were reliable because I decided to take 10 repeat readings for each blood type. A limitation to this experiment was apparatus. I feel it may have been better to use data loggers or even record the drop falling this would help obtain more precise and accurate readings. Also I could not say that each drop was off the same volume at the start as each drop could not really have been measured. Next time maybe a measured volume of blood could be used to drop and therefore the results would be more reliable and would reduce error of results due to volume of blood in each drop. Because the results demonstrate the expected results I feel that they are reliable and that the experiment was a success. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sharna Thomas, candidate number: 4564 Centre number :24335 ...read more.

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