Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 2

Biology coursework-Introduction

This year my biology coursework shall consist of finding the solution of sugar that is inside potatoes. Osmosis is a process in which this can be measured. Cells of any living organism are provided a steady level of nutrients such as water. Using water as an example we can see how different levels can affect the cells in different ways. If a cell is provided with the right amount of water to keep the level correct, a cell will function normally and will look the right shape and size for that type of cell. However if more water is added than needed the cell will become bloated and out of shape, this is called a turgid cell. But if too little water is added the cells vacuole shrinks and the membrane peels away from the wall, this is called a flaccid cell. Both cells receiving too much or too little water will fail to function properly. This is why the cells of all living organisms use osmosis. For our experiment we will see how much sugar is in a potato cell. Our test shall use osmosis to help determine the amount of sugar within the cell. On a more microscopic level osmosis can be seen in action. For our test where we will be putting a potato in a sugar solution we would clearly be able to see what happens. Firstly if the solution is an isotonic, on both sides of the cell membrane the particles of sugar would be equal, but as sugar is too big to pass through the membrane only water particles would be able to. As the sugar particles collide with the water particles they move but without passing through the membrane. The water particles however can pass through the membrane but equal amounts pass through as the sugar particles act in a similar manner on both sides. In a hypertonic solution the solution is more concentrated with sugar so the water particles pass through the membrane to the solution to make both sides the same concentration. This can cause the cell to become flaccid. In a hypotonic solution the concentration of sugar is higher in the cell so water transfers from the solution to cell. This can cause the cell to become turgid.

In our experiment there will be the potential for error. For example the larger more noticeably factors will be difficult to control. Firstly in the preliminary test we will use 33 tubes of potato which will be difficult to extract from one potato. So when we use two potatoes there will be a high chance that they will have a different concentration of sugar per cell. This will cause varying results with large ranges. Secondly our final result will be based on the result of a line of best fit which when two different potatoes are used can be very inaccurate. Also temperature a factor which can be controlled may vary slightly from room temperature depending on the changing conditions in the room. However this can be resolved by leaving the boiling tubes within a water bath left at a constant temperature. As well as temperature the size of the potato tube affects the process as on a tube with a large surface area more cells can use osmosis whereas on a tube with a smaller surface area fewer cells would react. This can be corrected by cutting the cells down to the right size but if that is done the cells may not have the same weight as each other.