Essay Cell Membrane Lab

Words: 900
Pages: 4

Lab #1: Cell Membrane

Prepared for

Gary V. Lawrence

Biology 0983


Zane Jeffels

Partners: Lily Juno, Huynh, and Lin Yan Sun


October 11th, 2010


October 25th, 2010

King Edward Campus- Rm. 3275

Vancouver Community College


The purpose of this lab was to determine if hemolysis would occur, and how long it would take to occur to red blood cells when blood suspension is introduced to solutions prepared at different temperatures, and solutions prepared at different tonicities. In part 1, red blood cells were suspended in four different solutions of NaCl (Sodium Chloride) and timed to see if and how long it would take for hemolysis to occur. In Part 4, blood suspension
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Part 2 and Part 3 of this lab were omitted.



This lab has illustrated the effect of tonicity and temperature on red blood cells. Red blood cells can be destroyed if they are suspended in both a hypotonic solution and hypertonic solution. A hypotonic solution causes them to burst from too much water uptake, and a hypertonic solution will result in red blood cells excreting (losing) so much water they shrink, and can die. Aquaporins, which are transport proteins, are densely embedded in a red blood cells membrane and the kidneys. These proteins are what make it possible for water to diffuse (osmosis to occur) across a membrane with a hydrophobic interior, at a rate, which is needed for survival. Water cannot cross certain cell membranes easily without the help of “aquaporin gates” (Campbell). The effects are so serious that the human body and many other organisms could not survive if they did not have a mechanism, which regulated water uptake and excretion, and many other useful or harmful substances being absorbed or excreted from the body via blood. The regulation of this is called osmoregulation, and mainly takes place in the kidneys, where blood is filtered. Kidneys conserve water when the body is low on water (dehydrated) and excrete water and wastes when their levels are too high. The temperature of blood must also stay within a few degrees for proteins and osmoregulation to function properly.