Osmosis and Diffusion Research

research regarding water movement in different structures

Osmosis and Diffusion in Plant and Animal Cells

Osmosis, in plants, is diffusion through a semipermeable membrane from a "dilute solution" to "a more concentrated solution." This process is passive. The semipermeable membrane is a membrane that allows only certain substances entrance and exit from the cell. Some examples of osmosis are as listed: 1) plant roots absorbing water and 2) the alimentary canal absorbing water. Plants like to be hypotonic because in a hypotonic environment the water is consumed by the cells and stored in the vacuole. Plants need this hypotonic environment because if they aren't soaking up the water and storing it through the vacuole, there won't be a way to be turgid. Plants need to be turgid for structure and to transfer minerals and materials.

Osmosis, in animals, links together with osmoregulation. Osmoregulation is defined as "the means by which cells keep the concentration of cell cytoplasm or blood at a suitable concentration." An example of osmoregulation is an amoeba living in fresh water. An amoeba living in fresh water uses a contractile vacuole to rid excess from the cytoplasm. Another example of osmoregulation is a paramecium, also gets rid of the excess in the cytoplasm through a vacuole. An important example of osmoregulation in the human body is in the kidneys. "The kidney's maintain the blood at the correct concentration." Therefore, osmoregulation plays a major rule in the function of animal cells.


water potential relating to osmosis and diffusion

Water potential measures the tendency of water to move from an area of high to low concentration, and the the energy of water. Diffusion is the movement of the particles dissolved in fluid from high to low concentration, but water potential is caused by osmosis because osmosis is the diffusion of water. Water potential is affected by pressure and the amount of solute and is defined by its chemical activity. For example: bound water has less chemical activity than free water so, therefore, it has a negative water potential.


osmoregulation in the human body

As mentioned briefly in the paragraph titled "Osmosis and Diffusion in Plant and Animal Cells," the kidneys play a key role of osmoregulation in the human body. "Regulation of water in the human body is carried out through the excretion of waste urine from the body." Hormones in the body are used to help "increase the permeability" of the ducts within the kidneys. These hormones further aid in the diffusion process, making diffusing more simple. The kidneys are then allowed to reabsorb water, instead of excreting it. Another example of osmoregulation in the body is when humans use their ability to regulate by controlling the amount of fluid exiting the body, such as urine or waste. Therefore, the human body has multiple methods in place to aid in osmoregulation and diffusion.


how does osmosis and diffusion relate to hypertonic, hypotonic, and isotonic?

Osmosis is the diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane and there are three situations in which the liquid surrounding cells move. In an isotonic environment the solution concentration inside cell and the solution concentration outside the cell is the same. In a hypotonic environment, the solution inside the cell is greater than the concentration outside the cell, therefore water will rush inside the cell. In a hypertonic environment the solution concentration outside the cell is greater and in this case water will rush outside the cell. In these three situations diffusion is present through the movement of the substances dissolved in the fluid. Osmosis and diffusion are important to both plant and animal cells. For example: plant cells prefer a hypotonic environment so that they can stay turgid, but without osmosis and diffusion, that environment would not be obtainable.

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