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An investigation to find out how Osmosis works in plant tissue.

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Background Information Osmosis Osmosis is a type of diffusion, but only concerning water. It occurs when a membrane is partially permeable, keeping back the solutes and only letting the solvents through. Osmosis is the movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane, from an area of high water concentration to an area of low water concentration. Osmosis occurs when water is taken in or transferred from cell to cell. Diagram Examples of Osmosis: Problems caused by Osmosis in disease. 1. Kidney Disease In normal situations, plasma proteins are high in plasma. In some cases of kidney disease the plasma, proteins are reduced so the plasma becomes less concentrated. This will cause water to enter tissues from the plasma leading to oedema. (Swelling of the tissues) 2. Dehydration In cases of dehydration, water is lost from the blood. This makes the blood very concentrated. Water then leaves the tissues and enters the circulation leaving the tissues dehydrated. Osmosis occurring in daily life. 1. Cooking. When boiling potatoes water will enter the potatoes, as the solute concentration inside the potato is higher than the pure water in the saucepan. ...read more.


The level of solution in the visking tube evidently rises. Another experiment used to show how osmosis works is when a visking tube is filled with pure water with a coloured dye. A beaker is filled with a solution that has both a solute and a solvent. As the water from the visking tube travels through the tube, it takes the dye with it so that it can be visibly seen. Hypothesis The Weaker the Sugar solution is the heavier the potato chips will become. Apparatus 1. Measuring Cylinder 2. Five Test tubes 3. Test tube rack 4. Carving Knife 5. Weighing Scales 6. Tile 7. Five Beakers Method The potato chips were first cut up into 15 pieces. Each piece was weighed and measured and then recorded. 20 ml of each of the following were put in separate test tubes: 0.2, 0.27, 0.3, 0.4g sugar solutions and distilled water. Three potato pieces were placed in each test tube - each numbered in order to keep an accurate account of how much weight each potato piece had lost or gained. ...read more.


* The length of the potato chips * The Width of the potato chips * The amount of potato chips in each test tube In order to get a more precise result I could have used five potato chips in each test tube. This would have enabled me to get a better mean for the mass change of the potatoes in each solution. In order to get a more varied result I could have used several more different sugar concentration solutions. If I had I would have been able to find the exact isotonic point. None of my results were completely unexpected but a few were slightly further from the line of best fit. This was mainly caused by human errors. One example is when the potatoes were dried - some were dried too much and perhaps even squeezed where as others were not dried enough so there was still too much water that would have made the mass seem higher then it actually was. Overall I believe that the investigation went fairly well. My graph made sense and showed an expected set of results. ...read more.

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