11 December 2008

Today we saw firsthand how saltwater affects cells. After we added salt to our elodea leaf the high concentration of water within the cell membranes quickly rushed out of the cell, leaving a shrunken membrane within the cell wall skeleton. The technical word for this is osmosis. This also explains why you get thirsty after eating something salty and why Magellan's crew couldn't drink sea water during their voyage (right Mr. Filzen's students??)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool photo, Mr. Devoe! Does osmosis occur in springtime along the sides of the roads when the salt is washed off and gets into the water supply of plants?
~Jordan

Mr. DeVoe said...

I know certain areas restrict the amount of rock salt distributed on the roads. The Hudson River bridges are a good example. If salinity increases in freshwater bodies of water it is detrimental to aquatic animal and plant life so yes, a high salt concentration can lead to osmosis. Osmosis isn't necessarily a bad thing but long-term exposures to high concentrations of salt is.

Ms. B. said...

When I was young, we sometimes used table salt in the cracks of the sidewalks at our house; it killed the weeds--same reason?

Mr. DeVoe said...

Yeah....and a lot healthier than chemical weed killers!

Anonymous said...

Cool Mr.Devoe! I think Jordan's question is a really good one. :)

Anonymous said...

Good idea Ms.Basset!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my question, Mr. Devoe!

Anonymous said...

I liked having the snow day, but unfortunately it took a day out of the egg labs.... is the lab sheet still due on Wednesday? Or will it be Thursday?

Mr. DeVoe said...

They'll be due Thursday. We'll record the last round of data on Monday.