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Osmosis

Essay by   •  February 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  502 Words (3 Pages)  •  757 Views

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The purpose of undergoing the lab was to analyze the process of diffusion through semisolids. Along with investigating the course of diffusion, focusing on the path of osmosis was additionally significant. In order to comprehend these vital developments, a definition is necessary. In the structure of a cell, "diffusion is the random movement of molecules from the area of higher concentration to the area of lower concentration, until they are equally distributed" (Mader, 2006). There are two forms of transportation ; active transport and passive transport. This method of transportation in which diffusion and osmosis takes place is titled "passive because there is no energy exerted for the substance to move down the concentration gradient" (Mader, 2006).

The structure that allows movement of molecules in and out of the cell is called the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is "comprised of layer of lipids between two layers of protein and is deemed differentially permeable because of its aforementioned function" (Enger, et al 1976). Once the barrier provided by the membrane is not preventing movement of molecules, the diffusion course of action is in session and it is striving to reach equilibrium. When one speaks of equilibrium, it is when the concentration is equally distributed. At this point of equilibrium, "as many molecules of the substance will be entering as leaving the cell" (Mader, 2006). The method of diffusion and equilibrium are crucial towards the make-up of the cell.

Another form of diffusion is called osmosis and it involves water being passively transported along the membrane. In osmosis there are several terms necessary to discern, such as tonicity, isotonic solution, hypotonic solution and hyptertonic solution. "Tonicity is the concentration of the solute in a solution versus the concentration of the water, isotonic solution contains the same solute as in the cell, hypotonic solution contains lower solute than in cell, and hypertonic solution contains higher solute than in cell" (Mader, 2006). The effects of not having enough or too much water in the cell can result in "waste products or interfering with chemical reactions" (Enger, et al, 1976). The method of anchoring what comes in and out is truly vital.

Possessing the background of the terms and its function provided above, my partners and I put into practice our knowledge. While observing the process

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