Investigate the transportation of water in living cells through the process of Osmosis

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Rachel Tsang


                                     Rachel Tsang 10S1/10H1

Osmosis: Osmosis is the movement of water from a high concentration of water to a low concentration of water through a semi-permeable membrane. These semi-permeable membranes are found in cell membranes, they allow some things to pass and stop other things from passing through. It usually only allows small molecules to pass, e.g. water, but not things like starch and proteins, these must be broken down, through enzymes first. We could say osmosis is the transportation of water from a dilute solution through a semi-permeable membrane to a more concentrated solution.

Aim: I am going to investigate the transportation of water in living cells through the process of Osmosis. I am going to plan and carry out an experiment to investigate this on potato cells. Once I have gathered my results and using my own knowledge, I hope to explain why certain things will happen and the consequences of osmosis.

Experimental Design:

There will be certain factors in my experiment that will probably affect the results of my experiment. I have to consider in mind, when conducting the experiment, if the surrounding temperature will affect the result or not. If the temperature is more warmer, the water and glucose molecules might move faster as the temperature rises, and could cause an effect in the way they pass through the semi-permeable membrane, the process could decelerate or accelerate. I would also have to consider how long am I going to leave the chips in there for, the longer it’s left there, the better the results, two hours is probably the best, but with time restrictions, I think I could only leave them for an hour maximum. Also if leaving them to expose to air, whilst I’m cutting out the rest of the chips, could interfere with the results.

       The mass and variety of the potatoes I am going to use, will affect the results of my experiment. If one chip weighed more than the other, it is not going to be a fair test, also the diameter of the chip, that could be a factor to consider, a larger diameter gives it a larger surface area, that could affect the outcome. It also wouldn’t be fair if I used a different variety of potato for each one, the potatoes would be grown in a different environment, more moisture, less warmth etc. and this could also affect the results.

         The concentration/dilution of the solution would also affect the results of my experiment. The more sugar or water in the solution would also determine the outcome of potato at the end of the experiment. This is the main factor that I will look at when conducting my experiment and also the mass of the potato chips, which I will keep the same for each potato. I will look at how different concentrations of solution will affect the results of the experiments, by having different concentrations of solution for each potato chip.

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         To make this experiment a fair test, I will have to make sure the weight of the each potato will weigh the same, by weighing each chip on balance scales, 2.5grams, that the total amount of solution for each sample will be the same amount, 20ml, by measuring the solution accurately, with a syringe or measuring cylinder. The concentration of the solution in each sample will be different to a different mole. This is the only factor that needs to be changed. I am going to try and measure the weight of each chip and the ...

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