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Investigate the effect of altitude training on the density of blood.

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An Investigation to find out the Effect of Altitude Training on the Density Mock Blood Rikin Patel Candidate Number- 1110 Centre Number- 63255 Aim The aim of this coursework was to investigate the effect of altitude training on the density of blood. Introduction Red blood cells, also known as Erythrocytes, are the most common type of blood cell and are a body's principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. The other type of blood cells in the blood are the white blood cells, which are actually immune cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen via hemoglobin, a complex molecule containing four haem groups that temporarily link to oxygen molecules in the lungs and release the oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin also carries a waste product, carbon dioxide back from the tissues. Red blood cells consist of almost 90% hemoglobin; the heme is what gives blood its red colour. Myoglobin is similar to haemoglobin, but acts as a store for oxygen in muscle cells. Human red blood cells have a flattened ovate shape, depressed in the center. This shape is used because it optimizes for the exchange of oxygen with the surrounding cells. The cells are flexible so as to fit through tiny capillaries, where they release their oxygen. The diameter of a typical red blood cell is 6-8 �m. Below is a diagram of a red blood cell: Red blood cells are continuously being produced in the red bone marrow of large bones. This production can be stimulated by a hormone called erythropoietin. Red blood cells are broken down by a process called Hemolysis. Red blood cells normally live for 110 to 120 days and then die. When they die, they are broken down. The old cells swell up to a sphere and are engulfed by phagocytes, they are destroyed and their materials are released into the blood. The hemoglobin is eventually excreted. ...read more.


In the absence of oxygen hydrogen cannot be disposed of by combination with oxygen, producing water. If water cannot be formed than reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) cannot be recycled therefore the krebs cycle and electron transport chain cannot occur. Thus no ATP is produced by oxidative phosphorylation. The reason that the krebs cycle and electron transport chain cannot carry on because these two processes require hydrogen, which is carried by the NAD. So if there is no NAD to carry the hydrogen away from the krebs cycle then no hydrogen is available to be taken to the electron transport chain. Therefore if there are no hydrogen ions to be passed down the hydrogen carriers and electron carriers then no ATP will be produced. There are two type of anaerobic respiration that can take place, one is the ethanol pathway and the other, which takes place in human beings, is the lactate pathway. In this process the pyruvate acts as a hydrogen acceptor and is eventually converted to lactate. It is converted using an enzyme called lactate dehydrogenase. The lactate pathway uses two hydrogen ions, which are carried by the NAD. The hydrogen ions combine with the pyruvate to form lactate. The change from glucose to pyruvate produces two molecules of ATP. Below is a diagram that shows the lactate pathway that takes place in all mammalian respiration: The purpose of this reaction to continue some release of energy even thought there is a lack of energy present. Once the lactate is produced it is transported to the liver were it is converted into carbon dioxide and water, this take's place in the presence of oxygen. Hypothesis and Prediction My prediction is that Blood type C will be the densest. This is because the blood that is used for this group is from an athlete who has trained aerobically at altitude fro 8 months. ...read more.


The blood drop shape depends on the pipette. This is because a pipette with a larger nib will produce a larger drop of blood. This would have a larger surface area, therefore it would be slowed down and visa versa for a pipette with a thinner nib. This factor could be over come by using a syringe with a needle. Having a needle present will naturally produce the same size drop. Therefore there would be the same size drops of blood all the time thus increasing the consistency of the results. Some other factors that could affect the results could be errors in the timing; this would obviously either increase or decrease the time taken for the blood drop to pass through the copper sulphate. The volume of blood drop will also have a significant affect on the results, thus the value of the t-tests. The volume has an impact on the results because the larger the volume the more resistance there is between the blood and the copper sulphate; this would slow down the drop of blood. Another factor would be if the blood drop touched the sides of the test tube, this is a factor for the same reason as the volume. It would slow down the drop of blood due to an increased amount of resistance. To improve this I could use a test tube that has a larger diameter. This would cut down the likelihood of the blood drop touching the side. Another improvement would be to drop the blood from as close to the centre of the test tube as possible. The quality of the results that they are relatively accurate this is because there are very few of anomalies, the main one that I can see is the third and fourth figures in the mock blood A, they are 8 and 7.7 respectfully. As there are hardly any irregularities in the results this would increase the reliability of the results. Thus allowing me to come to firmer conclusions. - 1 - ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A detailed account of an investigation using mock blood. Good background information and clear presentation of statistical analysis. A level language used throughout. However, a slightly muddled grasp of concepts in places and a few factual errors.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 30/07/2013

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