Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any scientific information contained within this essay should not be treated as fact, this content is to be used for educational purposes only and may contain factual inaccuracies or be out of date.

Experiment to Understand the Aftermath of Osmosis and Osmosis in Different Conditiions

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Biology
Wordcount: 2661 words Published: 1st Dec 2021

Reference this

Introduction

Every cell is surrounded by a wall of protection known as a cell membrane or plasma membrane, it is really small and tiny to be seen by the naked eye, the cell membrane can only be seen by a light microscope. (Newton & Joyce, 2020). The Cell membrane is referred to as the ‘fluid mosaic model’ because of its fluidity / flexibility since it is made up of different parts to form one final product like a mosaic.  (Hall, 2020). The Cell membrane consists of a lipid bilayer which is made up of phospholipid molecules, which has a head that is attracted to water and a tail that repels away from water, hydrophilic and hydrophobic, respectively, this makes the lipid bilayer. In between the layers of these phospholipid molecules are wedged cholesterol molecules which help with the movement of substances from one side to another. (Newton & Joyce, 2020),  (Hall, 2020). Additionally, the proteins and carbohydrates are found around the holes and help move molecules in and out of the cell. There are also proteins attached to the inner and outer surfaces of the membrane.(Biology4Kids, 2020)

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

A function of the cell membrane is to separate the cell contents from the extracellular environment, the cell membrane surrounds the cytoplasm of living cells, physically separating the intracellular components such as the Nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi body and mitochondria, from the extracellular environment. The cell membrane also acts as a barrier, substances that enter / leave the cell must pass through the cell membrane. (Newton & Joyce, 2020). For example, channel proteins form a channel through the membrane and have a central pore that allows ion, water, and other small molecules to pass through. (Cooper GM. The Cell: A Molecular Approach. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000. Transport of Small Molecules.) The main functions of the cell membrane; acts as a physical barrier, regulates the passage of materials, used for sensing or sensitivity and support. (Newton & Joyce, 2020)

For the cell to survive cellular transport is necessary, hence cell membranes are described as being differentially permeable (Semi-permeable or selectively permeable), meaning it only allows certain ions and molecules to pass through, but constrains others. (Newton & Joyce, 2020) Some transports are passive processes; meaning the cell's energy, that comes from respiration, does not have to be used. Active processes require the cell's energy for the transfer to occur. There are three basic processes for transporting materials; diffusion, carrier-mediated transport, vesicular transport. Osmosis is similar to diffusion, however this process is different, osmosis is when water passes through a differentially permeable membrane from a region of higher water concentration gradient to a region of lower water concentration gradient. (Newton & Joyce, 2020),  (Hall, 2020).

Aim

The aim of the osmosis egg experiment and investigation is to clearly see what happens after osmosis and understand what osmosis actually is, under different conditions.

Hypothesis

EGG A: If Egg A is placed in salt crystals (High concentration condition), within the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and transport the fluid to the extracellular environment, through the cell membrane, causing decrease in the weight of Egg A.  

EGG B: If Egg B is placed in Distilled water (Normal Water Potential (or) Condition), within in the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and either transport the extracellular fluid (distilled water) into the intracellular environment, through the cell membrane or (vice versa) causing increase in the weight of Egg B.  

EGG C: If Egg C is placed in 0.1M of salt solution (High Concentration Solution), within the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and transport the intracellular fluid to the extracellular environment, through the cell membrane, causing increase in the weight of Egg C.  

EGG D: If Egg D is wrapped with plastic and placed within the beaker, the intracellular fluid will stay within the egg and will not undergo an osmosis process, causing the weight of Egg C to stay the same.

Materials

  • 4 De-Shelled Eggs
  • 250 Grams of Table salt
  • 200 mL Distilled Water
  • 200 mL O.1M Salt (NaCl) Solution
  • 4*250ml Beaker Labelled A, B, C and D
  • Electronic Balance or Scale
  • Paper Towel
  • Camera

Method / Procedure

  1. Weigh each egg and record its weight in the column headed starting weight of egg
  2. Egg A - Place some salt crystals in the base of Beaker SA making a hollow in the middle
  3. Place the egg into the hollow and cover it with more salt. Make sure none of the egg is showing above the salt.
  4. Egg B - gently place the egg in beaker C and cover with distilled water
  5. Egg C - gently place the egg in Beaker C and cover with 0.1M salt solution
  6. Egg D - carefully wrap the egg in plastic wrap and place in Beaker D
  7. Cover each beaker tightly with plastic wrap
  8. Leave eggs overnight in a location where they will not be disturbed

Continuation of Method

Next lesson

  1. Remove the eggs carefully from each of the treatments. Gently wash off the excess salt and dab the eggs with paper towel to remove excess water.
    1. Re-weigh each of the eggs and record its weight in the table column headed ‘End Weight Of Egg’
    2. Calculate the amount of water lost or gained by finding the weight difference between column 1 and column 2. Record the difference in the column 3 headed ‘Amount Of Water Lost (or) Gained’

Results

Within this table D.P. stands for Decimal Place

Treatment

  1. Starting Weight of Egg
  1. End Weight of egg
  1. Amount of Water lost/gained
  1. Percentage Weight Change
  1. Egg in salt crystals

 

Observations:

86.6 Grams

Normal De-shelled Egg, Yolk is Visible

79.2 Grams

The Egg Yolk Was More Visible, the Egg lost weight

Egg Lost 7.4 Grams of Weight

7.4*100/86.6 =

8.5% (1DP)

  1. Egg in distilled water

 

Observations:

 

 

78.4

Normal De-shelled Egg, Yolk is Visible

N/A-

Egg Automatically Busted overnight, in distilled water, making, the water look murky 

N/A-

N/A-

  1. Egg in 0.1 M salt solution

 

Observations:

 

 

65.7 Grams

Normal De-shelled Egg, Yolk is Visible

75.6 Grams

Could not see the Egg Yolk, The Egg gained weight

Egg Gained 9.9 Grams of Weight

9.9*100/65.7 =

15.0% (1DP)

  1. Egg in Plastic wrap

 

Observations:

81.1 Grams

Normal De-Shelled Egg, Yolk is Visible

80.4 Grams

Not Much Change

The Egg Lost 0.7 Grams of Weight

0.7*100/81.1 =

10.9 % (1DP)

Discussion

Egg A:

The result of the osmosis experiment for Egg A, conveys that when Egg A was buried / placed in salt crystals the weight decreased from its initial weight (86.6 grams to 79.2 grams), overnight by 7.4 grams, percentage weight change of 8.5%, rounded to 1DP. This tells me that the salt crystals saturated the egg of its intracellular fluid. Moreover, the salt crystals can considered as the hypertonic solution, therefore, when the hypertonic solution saturated Egg A it means that the intracellular fluid (water) from the egg was transported outwards through osmosis, a process in which Egg A had more intracellular fluid than the extracellular environment, which was transported outwards from higher water concentration gradient (water from the intracellular environment of Egg A) to a region of lower water concentration gradient, (outside Egg A).

Egg B:

The result of the osmosis experiment for Egg B, illustrates that when Egg B, (lower concentration gradient) was in distilled water, (higher concentration gradient or solvent) Egg B bursted overnight, and made the water murky, this could be from, Egg B absorbing too much water from the process of osmosis, (change in the concentration gradient). this is just an inference, however, since the egg was bursted we cannot fully deduce that Egg B increased or decreased in weight, the initial weight was 78.4 grams.  Thus, experimenting with Egg B could not be further applied to this investigation, and the egg had to be thrown out.

Egg C:

The result of the osmosis experiment for Egg C, shows that when Egg C, (lower concentration gradient) was placed in 0.1M of Salt Solution, (higher concentration gradient) the weight increased from its initial weight (65.7 grams to 75.6 grams), overnight by 9.9 grams, percentage weight change of 15.1%, rounded to 1DP. This tells me that the salt solution of 0.1M increased the concentration gradient of Egg C’s intracellular fluid. Furthermore, the 0.1M can be considered as the hypotonic solution, therefore, the hypotonic salt solution, (high concentration gradient) increased the low concentration gradient of Egg C, to a high concentration gradient, it means that some of the water or salt solution was transported into Egg C through the cell membrane, through the process of osmosis, a process in which Egg C had less intracellular fluid than the extracellular environment, which was then altered when the salt solution, (higher water concentration gradient) was transported inwards from the extracellular environment of Egg C to a region of lower water concentration gradient, (inside Egg C).

Egg D:

The result of the osmosis experiment for Egg D portrays that when Egg D was wrapped in plastic, (cling wrap) the weight decreased from its initial weight (81.1 grams to 80.4 grams), overnight by 0.7 grams, percentage weight change of 0.9% rounded to 1DP. This tells me that there wasn’t a huge effect of osmosis in Egg D, However the 0.7 grams that decreased could be due to evaporation, since we did leave our beakers on the window sill and therefore prolonged exposure to sunlight may have caused evaporation, hence the change of 0.7 grams.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Flaws

Some flaws that occurred during the investigation which altered the accuracy of the results and the overall investigation itself were; all beakers with eggs and solutions were left on window sill, thus sunlight could have increased the weight change, affecting our results, another flaw was that Egg B automatically bursted overnight which stopped our experimentation on Egg B which has been stated above, which has distorted the reliability of our results within this report about osmosis. Additionally, the materials section of the investigation has only said to be 4 de-shelled fresh eggs, however the type or brand of egg can also affect the results, for example, cage fresh eggs and free-range fresh eggs, because the weight of free-range eggs are heavier than cage fresh eggs.

Conclusion

The findings found in this experiment prove that osmosis has happened in this experiment in some Eggs, A and C. Osmosis can only happen when there is a low water concentration gradient which has to be balanced or taken care of by transporting substances from the high-water concentration gradient.

My Hypothesis for Egg (A); ‘If Egg A is placed in salt crystals (High concentration condition), within the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and transport the fluid to the extracellular environment, through the cell membrane, causing decrease in the weight of Egg A.’ 

My Hypothesis was supported since there was a decrease in the weight of Egg A, when compared to the initial weight, (86.6 grams) and ending weight (79.2 grams) of Egg A, demonstrating that osmosis has occurred which is portrayed through the weight change.

My Hypothesis for Egg (B); ‘If Egg B is placed in Distilled water (Normal Water Potential (or) Condition), within in the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and either transport the extracellular fluid (distilled water) into the intracellular environment, through the cell membrane or (vice versa) causing increase in the weight of Egg B.’

My Hypothesis cannot be proven for this Egg, because the Egg B bursted overnight while sitting in the solution therefore my hypothesis could not be tested. 

My Hypothesis for Egg (C); ‘If Egg C is placed in 0.1M of salt solution (High Concentration Solution), within the beaker, the intracellular fluid within the egg will undergo osmosis and transport the intracellular fluid to the extracellular environment, through the cell membrane, causing increase in the weight of Egg C.’ 

My Hypothesis was supported because there was an increase in the weight of Egg C, when compared to the initial weight, (65.7 grams) and ending weight (75.6 grams) of Egg C, illustrating that osmosis has occurred, which is revealed through the weight change.

My Hypothesis for Egg (D); ‘If Egg D is wrapped with plastic and placed within the beaker, the intracellular fluid will stay within the egg and will not undergo an osmosis process, causing the weight of Egg D to stay the same.’

My hypothesis was not supported, when paralleled to the initial weight, (81.1 grams) and ending weight (80.4 grams) of Egg C, there has been a change of 0.7 grams, however the weight change cannot be by osmosis, because there was no solution to make the change. 

References

Biology4Kids. (2020, February 27). Biology4kids.com. Retrieved from Biology4Kids: http://www.biology4kids.com/files/cell_membprot.html

Hall, M. I. (2020). Power Point Notes On Cells, Cell Membrane and Cell Structure. Perth: Isobel Hall.

Newton, T., & Joyce, A. (2020). Human Perspectives Units 1&2 ATAR 7th Edition. Perth: Nelson Netbook.

Cooper GM. The Cell: A Molecular Approach. 2nd edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000. Transport of Small Molecules.)

 

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please:

Related Services

Our academic writing and marking services can help you!

Prices from

£126

Approximate costs for:

  • Undergraduate 2:2
  • 1000 words
  • 7 day delivery

Order an Essay

Related Lectures

Study for free with our range of university lectures!

Academic Knowledge Logo

Freelance Writing Jobs

Looking for a flexible role?
Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher?

Apply Today!