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Unformatted text preview: Zach Holley W.Allen Section 39 17 November 2011 The effects of osmosis in potato cells set in various sucrose solutions Abstract Osmosis is the cells ability to stabilize their environment by moving water through a selectively permeable membrane. In this experiment, students observed the cells ability to move water across their membrane in order to stabilize the internal cellular environment. We were able to do this by placing discs of potatoes into five different sucrose solutions with various sucrose concentrations. After allowing the potatoes to soak in the solution for one hour, they were removed. The change in mass was observed and related with the concentration of sucrose that it was submerged in. The change that was recorded proves that the cells were actively stabilizing their chemical environment through osmosis. The potatoes that were submerged in a solution hypertonic to their own decreased in mass, showing that the cells released water. Potatoes that were in a solution that were isotonic in comparison remained at a stable mass, suggesting that there was no net movement of water in either direction. Likewise, the potatoes in the hypotonic solutions gained mass, showing that they absorbed water. Introduction Osmosis refers to the net movement of water across a selectively permeable membrane. If a membrane restricts access to all substances but allows water to move across freely, then it is said to be selectively permeable. (Reese and Campbell, 2011) Since the solute would not be able to move across the membrane, the concentration of the...
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