The purpose of this experiment was to study the effects of ethanol on the cellular respiration of mealworms. Cellular respiration is the process by which cells harvest the energy stored in food. It is the intake of oxygen and energy in the form of glucose, and the cells ability to break it down into carbon dioxide, water, and energy required for the body to function. More scientifically, it is a three-step pathway that produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate.) The three stages of cellular respiration are: glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and electron transport. Ethanol is a volatile, colorless liquid and is considered a psychoactive drug. Ethanol is generally known to have depressant effects on the central nervous system. If you subject mealworms to a 95% ethanol solution, then the rate of cellular respiration will decrease.
Materials and Methods
The materials used in this experiment were: 12 beetle larvae (mealworms), 1 – 250 ml Erlenmeyer flask, a ring stand and clasp, a Data logger, an AC power adapter for the data logger, forceps, filter paper, 95% ethanol solution and a dropper. The experiment began by adding 12 live mealworms to the flask. The data logger was then calibrated and used to take an initial CO2 output reading. Readings were again taken every minute for a total of 15 minutes. These readings were recorded and used as the control. Next, the dropper was used to add 7 drops of the 95% ethanol solution to the filter paper. The filter paper was inserted into the flask with the mealworms. The data logger was again used to take CO2 output readings at one-minute intervals for 15 minutes.
This experiment showed the effects of ethanol on the cellular respiration of mealworms. Respiration rates were recorded in both the control group (no ethanol) and the experimental group (ethanol.) The initial readings in the two groups were very different, with the control group starting out with a much higher rate than the experimental...