Beta Vulgaris 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. (, 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 …show more content…

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 solutions. As soon as the B. Vulgaris samples were added to the vials a time zero sample was taken from the vials. 3mL of the liquid in each of the vials were added into cuvettes and measured in the spectrophotometer. Before each time point the photo spectrometer was zeroed using a cuvette with 3mL of distilled water. If any of the results were considered unusual the machine was zeroed again and the sample was retested. The results from the spectrophotometer test were recorded in a table. The experiment was repeated six times to gain a sample size of six. This was done to get more accurate results. The first time the experiment was conducted it was tested at three different time points, at zero minutes, fifteen minutes and …show more content…

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. The topic of cell membranes have 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. 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 but not explain more practical applications, like human cells for example. Conclusion The experiment found that ethanol increases the membrane permeability if B. Vulgaris cells. This can be extrapolated to conclude that ethanol will increase the membrane permeability of most cell walls. These results are concordant with most other studies into the topic of the effects of alcohol on membrane permeability. The results could possibly be used to investigate specific cases in laboratory and industry settings. For example,

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