The world is full of many diverse forms of life. Every living thing needs fuel to survive. From a microscopic bacteria living inside your body to a whale swimming in the deep blue sea, we are all made up of cells. There are two types of cells, prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria, and Eukaryotic cells, like the cells in our body. Prokaryotic cells are simple cells lacking a true membrane-bound nucleus where as eukaryotic cells are more complex and contain a true nucleus. Either prokaryotic or eukaryotic, cells need to harvest energy to thrive.
Organisms, like plants, who make their own food are called producers. This is achieved by a process called photosynthesis, using energy from the sun, water, and carbon dioxide. Humans and animals that can not produce their own food are known as consumers. These organisms must ingest producers and/or other consumers to nourish their body. Have you ever wondered how the food you eat gets converted into energy for your cells? The answer is cellular respiration and its production of ATP.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of nicotine on cellular respiration. Nicotine is commonly known as a stimulant, stimulants speed up metabolic processes, cellular respiration is a metabolic process. CO2 production is an indicator of cellular respiration. With these facts a hypothesis stating that the rate of cellular respiration will increase in higher concentrations of nicotine, which can be observed by the increase of CO2 production. Cellular respiration is the most efficient way for cells to harvest energy stored in food. Cellular respiration is defined as the aerobic harvesting of energy from food molecules; the energy-releasing chemical breakdown of food molecules and the storage of potential energy in a form the cell can use to perform work (ATP). This exergonic reaction, meaning a reaction that produces energy, uses a series of three metabolic processes, glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation, to break down polymers, such as carbohydrates into smaller glucose molecules. During cellular respiration glucose molecules and oxygen(O2) are converted into carbon dioxide (CO2), water(H2O), and the ultimate goal, energy (ATP).
The chemical equation of cellular respiration :
C6H12O6 (Glucose) + 6 O2 → 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + Energy (34-36 ATP + heat)
Cellular respiration makes it possible for cells to produce a total of 38 ATP molecules. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) powers cellular work. ATP stores its energy in phosphate bonds and releases the energy when the molecule is hydrolyzed. ATP is considered by biologists to be the energy currency of life and a battery for all living things.
MATERIALS & METHODS
3 500ml beakers
.6g of tobacco
at least 600ml of distilled water
250ml Erlenmeyer flask
6 live mealworms
ring stand and clamp
CO2 sensor and datalogger
For the basis of caparison, a control treatment was first preformed using every constant variable used in treatments 1-3 except for the addition of the experimental variable, nicotine. Using a cotton ball a small amount of distilled water was dabbed on each of 6 mealworms. The mealworms were then placed into an Erlenmeyer flask using the forceps. Using the ring stand and clamp to keep the flask in place the CO2 sensor and datalogger were inserted into the flask and initial and final CO2 readings were recorded.(Use pages 105-108 in General Biology, Bio 101 Laboratory manual 2010-2011 for correct usage and setup of datalogger) This procedure was then repeated and recorded 2 additional times.
Next, for treatments 1, 2, and 3 a graduated cylinder was used to accurately measure 500ml of distilled water into beaker A, 50ml into beaker B and 5ml into beaker C. .2g of tobacco was then added to each beaker. This allowed testing of different concentrations of nicotine on the cellular respiration of the mealworms,...
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