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The Effect of Alcohol on Biological Membranes

By: Mikako Harata and Anna Egeland

anna egeland

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of The Effect of Alcohol on Biological Membranes

The Effect of Alcohol on Biological Membranes By Anna Egeland and Mikako Harata Methanol Ethanol Propanol The cell membrane is made up of a phospholipid bilayer. The alcohols ruptures the cell membrane then since the alcohols are hypertonic, the water in the beet flows into the alcohol. The red dye acts as an indicator for osmosis. Our Experiment:
We tested beets in 3 types of alcohol and used a Colorimeter to measure the color intensity of beet pigment in alcohol solutions
We tested the effect of different alcohol concentrations on membranes
A higher pigment coloration meant more damage to the membrane Alcohol concentration caused the greatest change in absorbence for the 1-Propanol.
Total Change in Absorbance
1-Propanol= 1.415 This is because 1-Propanol is the largest molecule so it causes more damage when it tavels across the membrane. The cellular damage is the greatest for Propanol because it shows the highest colorimeter reading based on how much die is left in the alcohol. Propanol seems to have the greatest affect on membranes, because it shows the greatest difference between absorbance level of red die from 0% concentration to 40% concentration of alcohols. Propanol damaged the beet at the lowest concentrations compared to the other alcohols. CH3OH CH3CH2OH CH3CH2CH2OH Membrane bound vacuole in plant cells (the tonoplast)
In beet plants this contains a water soluble red pigment, Betacyanin
Since the pigment isn't lipid soluble, it remains in the vacuole when the cells are healthy
When a membrane is destroyed, the contents of the vacuole spill out into the surrounding environment Alchohols are dangerous to living organisms because they damage cellular membranes The End
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