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To investigate the number of red blood cells

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Name: Kern Pemberton Date: 21st October, 2008 Lab#: 4 Activity: Planning & Designing Task: To plan and design an experiment based on the following observation. Observation: A student was given three samples of "mock blood". However he mislabeled the samples. Sample A represented blood taken from a normal healthy male who lives at sea level. Sample B represented blood from the same male but after he had undergone six months of aerobic exercise at sea level. Sample C represented blood taken from the same male after he had undergone six months of aerobic exercise in the mountains. Stated Hypothesis: The body produces more red blood cells with aerobic exercise and when the concentration of 02 decreases. Testable Hypothesis: The number of red blood cells present in a blood sample will vary with exercise/altitude. Theory: The red blood cell is shaped like a biconcave disc. This cell has a large surface area to volume ratio as a means of increasing diffusion. ...read more.


These properties are effectively taken advantage of in the lungs and tissue. Between men and women, there are usually 5 million red blood cells per cubic centimetre of blood at sea level. Aim: To identify the number of red blood cells in blood samples under a light microscope. Apparatus & Material: * Light microscope * Slides (5cm 2cm) * Cover slips (2m 2cm) * 3 Blood samples * Micropipette Diagram: Method: 1. Take one of the blood samples and using the micropipette place 0.1 ml a drop of blood on the slide. 2. Using another slide the drop should be spread evenly over the non-frosted area on the slide( if slide has no frosted areas on either side, over a suitable, similar region for each slide). 3. Place a cover slip over the area of the blood and view under the light microscope at high power. 4. Count the number of red blood cells present. 5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for the other blood samples. ...read more.


Therefore Sample A would be expected to have the least number of red blood cells since the male had not undergone aerobic exercise and was living at sea level. Sample B would then expected to have more red blood cells than Sample A but less than sample C since the male had undergone exercise at only sea level compared to in the mountains in Sample C. Limitations: * The blood samples may contain more blood cells than can be counted as a result the red blood cell density should be used to compare blood cell concentrations. * Red blood cells don not live for more than 120 days. Precautions: * In each sample under the microscope, the red blood cells should be counted over the same area. The use of a graticule can be used to ensure this. Improvements: Erythropoietin is a hormone that is secreted by the kidney that controls the number of red blood cells. It stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and therefore the levels of erythropoietin in the blood can be measured to ensure the results are accurate. ...read more.

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