Cell Temperature Experiment

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Does Temperature Affect the Rate at Which Cells Move Through the Cell Cycle?

The purpose of this experiment was to determine if temperature has an effect on the rate of the cell cycle.

Background Information
The cell cycle is a process by which a cell asexually reproduces. There are four significant phases, G1-phase, S-phase, G2-phase, and M-phase. For this experiment, the subdivisions of M-phase are most important. These subdivisions are Prophase, Prometaphase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, and Cytokinesis. Also for this experiment, Prometaphase and Metaphase have been condensed into one stage, simply called Metaphase. During Prophase, the DNA, which had been replicated in S-phase, condenses into chromosomes, or pairs of sister
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In animal cells, increased temperature can increase the fluidity of the cellular membrane, as the phospholipids’ fatty acid tails become less rigid. This can lead to more harmful particles entering the cell; if the temperature is too high, the various proteins that allow larger particles through the phospholipid bilayer can denature, causing problems for the cell. Conversely, a lowered temperature causes the cellular membrane to become more rigid, preventing particles from entering the cell easily. The increased rigidity can also prevent cell growth, as the cell cannot expand. In extreme conditions, the liquid inside the cell can solidify, forming crystals that pierce the membrane and kill the cell (“The Effect of Temperature on Cell Membranes,” Sciencing.).
Temperature can also affect vital parts of the cells, such as enzymes. A small increase in temperature can increase enzyme activity, but too large of a change can denature the proteins, causing them to lose their function. Likewise, lowering the temperature too far can cause enzymes to slow their function until it is near nonexistent (“Temperature, pH and Enzymes,” GCSE
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Theoretically, if the ratio of cells in later stages of the cell cycle increased compared to the number cells in Interphase, then the rate of the cell cycle had increased; a similar assumption could be made for a decrease in the ratio. No evidence can be given one way or the other; again, there was no data able to be collected. Perhaps if more research had been done, or if there was a better microscope used, then some data might have been available. Neither instance happened, however, and the experiment gave no conclusive

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