Red blood cells and osmosis

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Starlight189
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Red blood cells and osmosis

Post by Starlight189 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:13 pm

Ok I've answered a question worth 3 marks. I'd like to know whether you think it is enough to get all 3 marks or not.

Question
Red blood cells of mammals respond to changes in the concentration of salts in the fluid that surrounds them. If they are placed in a solution that has a lower concentration of salts than blood plasma, they swell and may burst. This bursting is known as haemolysis.

Explain why red blood cells may burst when they are placed in a solution that has a lower concentration of salts than blood plasma.


My Answer
A lower concentration of salts means a higher concentration of water. Red blood cells burst in a dilute solution as there is a net movement of water molecules into the cell via osmosis but no cell wall to restrict it.
Last edited by Starlight189 on Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MrMistery » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:04 pm

yeap that's basically it. but i think even with a cell wall present bursting is possible. look at plants. they developed hidatods to prevent this.
PS: through in words like "aquaporins" to impress the teacher ;)
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Post by Starlight189 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:15 pm

I have no idea what aquaporins are :lol:, I'll go look it up. But thankyou very much :-D
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Post by MrMistery » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:20 pm

aquaporins are the main structures responsabile for transporting water in and out of the cell. they are protein channels. a relative new discovery in the field, the nobel prise for chemistry was given for their discovery in 2003. Don't they teach you this kind of stuff at AP bio?
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Post by Starlight189 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:35 pm

Heh..nope...they probably should but my bio teacher who we did this topic with (I have 2 bio teachers) is next to hopeless, I go to a girl's school that's joined with a boy's school but some lessons in sixth form are mixed. This teacher is from the boys' school and hates girls, he hates newcomers too come to that. :(
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Post by MrMistery » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:44 pm

sorry about that. well, you could always try the old-fashion way and read a book
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Post by Starlight189 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:47 pm

Reading's great :-D, I don't usually read biology text books in bed but I'll give it a go tonight, mmm bed -night ;-)
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Post by MrMistery » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:50 pm

I never could read before going to sleep. i fall asleep in 2 minutes
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Post by Starlight189 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:56 pm

Lucky you..I take ages to fall asleep.
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