Beta Vulgaris Cell Lab Report

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The membrane permeability of Beta vulgaris is affected by ethanol solution

Introduction
Cell membranes are the semi-permeable membrane that surrounds all cells. It separates the extracellular environment from the intercellular environment. It is a phospholipid bilayer which contains various proteins, lipids and carbohydrates all serving different purposes. It is this structure which allows for the transport of nutrients, proteins and water. (Nature.com, 2014). Through extensive testing it has been found that small alcohols, specifically ethanol can increase the fluidity and membrane permeability of the phospholipid bilayer (Patra et al, 2005). The aim of the experiment was to test what effect that ethanol solution would have on the membrane
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Vulgaris cell. For this experiment it is hypothesised that exposure to ethanol solution will increase the membrane permeability of the B. Vulgaris cell.
Methods
The experimental methods were taken from Flinders University (2018). The aim of the experiment was to test what effects that ethanol solution has on the membrane permeability of B. Vulgaris. The B. Vulgaris samples were approximately 1cm3. They were kept the same size to ensure accurate results. A control test was conducted in distilled water to obtain a result to compare. The ethanol treatments were 40% and 70%. To prepare the solutions a 70% ethanol solution was used to make 40%. This was calculated using the C1V1=C2V2 formula. A photo spectrometer was used to measure, in arbitrary units, the change in membrane permeability of the B. Vulgaris cells. To begin, the B. Vulgaris samples were put into vials containing the distilled water, 40% and 70% Ethanol
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More specifically the aim was to investigate what effect 40% and 70% ethanol solutions had on a B. Vulgaris cell membrane and then compare them to the same test with distilled water. It was hypothesised that the ethanol solution would increase the membrane permeability. From the results the hypothesis can be supported. Cell membranes are a core aspect of understanding cells which helps to understand humans and other living creatures. Therefore the topic of cell membranes has been extensively researched, meaning that there is no limit to information and sources of information of the subject. The effects of alcohols on membrane have also been researched quite extensively. Previous studies have found that alcohols disrupt the structure of cell membranes (Goldstein, 1986). They have also found that ethanol has a stronger effect than other alcohols (Patra et al, 2005). From this research and literature the expected results of the experiment were to see an increase in membrane permeability, this result was observed. The study provides a brief insight into what kind of effects alcohol can have on cell membranes but it is limited. The results can be used to understand more practical applications, like human cells for example. the experiment is ineffective way of observing the effect of alcohol on cell membranes and is a good education tool. The study is

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