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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

Name Due Date: Section: _____

Exercise 5: Osmosis & Diffusion


This exercise is worth a total of 15 points.

To receive full credit for Exercise 5, you must submit the following:
1) A typed Report Form (available from Moodle). Be certain to complete all calculations,
tables, and figures and answer all questions fully using complete sentences.
2) A completed Illustration Form (handed out in class and available from Moodle) for the
graph.
3) A partial scientific report consisting of an Introduction and Conclusion section for Part III
– Osmosis Experiment. Use the guideline for writing a scientific report in the beginning
of your lab manual to help you produce these two sections.

Purpose of Lab:
To observe the movement of solutes through water and the movement of water through cell
membranes in response to different solute concentrations

Student Learning Outcomes:


1) Describe diffusion of a solute in water
2) Describe the effect of osmosis on cells
3) Define tonicity terms: isotonic, hypertonic, hypotonic
4) Apply your knowledge of osmosis to predict the outcome of placing a potato into
various saline solutions
5) Conduct scientific experiments
6) Summarize data resulting from experiments
7) Create figures that display summary data
8) Analyze results of a scientific experiment
9) Write scientific reports (introduction and conclusion)

Part I - Diffusion Observations:

 Develop a prediction regarding whether dye will diffuse faster at hot or cold
temperatures; indicate why you think this will happen:

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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

Table 5.1: Diffusion rate of methylene blue at two temperatures.


Hot water Cold water

Start time

End time

Time to reach even


distribution (in minutes)
Questions:
1. Did the results match your prediction?

The effect of time on diffusion:


Table 5.2: Diffusion rates of food dye over time.

Rank Concentration Gradient (highest number for steepest


Bottle Label
concentration gradient, 0 for homogeneous)

Questions:
2. How does concentration gradient change over time?

3. What causes the concentration gradients to change?

4. Which bottle has the area with the highest concentration, and how does this relate to
concentration gradient?

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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

5. If you stir the water and food dye with a spoon, what color would the water be? Would
you expect to see a concentration gradient? How does stirring, or mechanical mixing,
differ from diffusion?

Part II - Osmosis Demonstrations:

Questions:
1. Which solution is hypertonic relative to the solute concentration of the egg? What does
the egg in the hypertonic solution look like? In which direction is the net movement of
water?

2. Which solution is hypotonic relative to the egg? What does the egg look like? In which
direction is the net movement of water?

3. How would these results be different if these were plant cells?

4. How would they be the same?

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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

Part III - Osmosis Experiment:

Table 5.3: Observations of potatoes treated with different solutions.


0% NaCl
0.5% NaCl 1% NaCl 1.5% NaCl 2% NaCl 2.5% NaCl
(water)

Prediction

Starting weight

Final Weight

Final Weight -
Starting Weight

% Change
(formula on
previous page

Notes and
Observations

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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

Table 5.4: Percent change in weight of potatoes treated with different solutions.

% Change Mean % Change


(your group’s data) (class-wide data)

Distilled H2O

0.5% NaCl

1.0% NaCl

1.5% NaCl

2% NaCl

2.5% NaCl

Questions: Use the class-wide group data to answer the following questions.
1. What happened to the potato in the distilled water? Did its weight change at all? If so,
did it increase or decrease?

Was the distilled water hypotonic, isotonic, or hypertonic to the potato?

2. What happened to the potato in the saltiest water (2.5% solution)?

3. Was the 2.5% NaCl solution hypotonic, isotonic, or hypertonic to the potato?

4. Which of the five solutions do you think was closest to being isotonic to the potato
cells? Why do you draw this conclusion?

5. Predict how the weight of the potato would change if you took the cubes you just used
and placed them into different solutions, as follows?
-Place the cube from the distilled water into 2.5% salt water:

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Biology 126 Osmosis & Diffusion

-Place the cube from the 2.5% salt water into distilled water:

-Place the cube from the 1.5% salt water into distilled water:

-Place the cube from the 1.5% salt water into 2.5% salt

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