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Cell Membrane Questions

Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.

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Cell Membrane Questions

Postby huama0119 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:00 am

1) When carrots placed in a concentrated molasses solution for a period of 24 hours, how do the carrots change, what is this called?

( i'm thinking it will shrink because it is in a hypertonic solution but i'm not sure :? )


2) What happens to red blood cells then they are placed in alcohol? Explain why this happens?


(Is it like, alcohol makes the membrane permeable and it breaks down or something? )

Thank you!
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Postby kolean » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:12 pm

With 1) you are correct. Concentrated molasses would have alot of sugar molecules in it, as compared to the carrots (which have sugar too, but definitely not as sweet as molasses). This would make the water molecules in the carrot diffuse out to the hypertonic molasses solution.
With 2), alcohol reacts with the proteins in the cell membrane of the red blood cell, causing the red blood cells to aggregate and clump. Then again, if we are looking at the question as in 1), then the RBC would shivel up as the water leaves to go into the alcohol (though it would be based on the concentration of water in the RBC and in the alcohol).
This journal article states that the increased concentration of alcohol increases the denaturation of the RBCs:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/jour ... 9/abstract
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