TERESSALITTLEBROOK_Membrane_Report[1]

TERESSALITTLEBROOK_Membrane_Report[1] - NTRODUCTION I :...

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Effects of Physical and Chemical Stressors  on Biological Membranes I NTRODUCTION     This experiment aimed to answer the question: how different physical and chemical  affect biological membranes. By using beet cores, and putting them in different  environments, such as a -20 ° C environment or a 70 ° C environment, and also by putting  the beet cores with different chemicals such as 1% Acetone ( or 50% Methanol. By doing  this one could test how these stressors affect the beets (A.K.A: the biological  membrane). The cell membranes are made up of a flexible phospholipid bilayer. The lipid  molecules that make up the membrane have a polar, hydrophilic head and two  hydrophobic hydrocarbon tails. ("Cell membrane,”) i  The phospholipid bilayer forms a  barrier that is impermeable to many substances, such as hydrophilic molecules.  (Lindsay, PhD, August 2010) ii  The cells of beet root tissue are natural colored red, so  their large vacuoles - membrane-bound sacs of water – are an important role in giving  the beets their red color. “In fact, beet root vacuoles have large amounts of reddish  pigment molecules called betacyanin.” (Lindsay, PhD, August 2010) iii  The molecule itself  is soluble, but the vacuole is surrounded by a membrane mostly made of phospholipids.  Clusters of the molecule betacyanin appear to be reddish brown because “the molecule  transmits wavelengths in the red portion of the visual spectrum and it absorbs most other  colors.” (Lindsay, PhD, August 2010) iv  To measure the presence or absence of particular  molecules, one will use a spectrophotometer, which measuring the intensity of light. 
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