Daphnia Dissection

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Effects of Drugs on Heart rate

Michelle Dilgard
Undergraduate Student
Education Major
Biology Concentration
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN 38505

December 3, 2006
Table of Contents

Abstract 1
Key Words 2
Methods and Materials7-8
Expected Results and Benefits 9
Results 10-11
Literature Cited 14-15

This experiment is designed to find out how drugs affect heart rate. This experiment will use Daphnia in order to monitor the effects certain drugs have on heart rates. I will observe the changes in heart rate of Daphnia when exposed to Caffeine, Ibuprofen, Alcohol, and Nicotine. I will have several separate samples of Daphnia in my study. Each community will be exposed to a different drug and observe how the heart rate of the Daphnia changes accordingly. I believe the Daphnia heart rate will increase when the Daphnia are exposed to Caffeine and Nicotine because both of these drugs are stimulants. I believe the Daphnia heart rate will decrease and slow down when the Daphnia are exposed to Ibuprofen and Alcohol. This experiment will show not only the effects of these drugs on Daphnia but also what they similarly do to the human body when it is exposed. Daphnia are used as a humane alternative to Humans when performing this type of experiment. The results on the Daphnia will be very similar to how the human heart would react if exposed to these drugs. Key Words

Effects of Drugs
Daphnia Magna
Heart rate
My experiment deals with the affects of different drugs on the heart rate of daphnia. I will focus on the daphnia’s body itself first. Then I will give information pertaining to the drugs used: Caffeiene, Ibuprofen, Alcohol, and Nicotine. Daphnia are small crustaceans that live in the water. They are commonly called water fleas. Daphnia are freshwater zooplankton and consume phytoplankton and some other zooplankton as well. The daphnia’s bodies are transparent and their internal structures can easily be seen. The heart is the internal organ I focused on within the daphnia. The heart can be easily seen within the body cavity of the daphnia which made it easy to find and easy to count the heartbeat (Villegas-Navarro 2003).

Caffeine is a very important drug to consider because 90% of American consumes caffeine on a daily basis. Half of all American consume more than 300 mg of caffeine a day which makes it America’s most consumed drug to date. Caffeine is found in coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, etc. Caffeine is known as trimethylxanthine in the medical community. Caffeine can be used as a cardiac stimulant and also as a mild diuretic. Cardiac stimulants increase the heart rate, and diuretics increase urine production. Caffeine is a very addictive drug and operates just like amphetamines such as cocaine and heroin (Nehlig 1992). Caffeine not only stimulates the heart of humans but also the heart of daphnia (Foster 1997). Ibuprofen is commonly used to relieve pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness caused by arthritis. It is also used to relieve mild to moderate pain in the body and reduce fever. Ibuprofen is called a NSAIDs. It works by stopping the body’s production of a substance that causes pain, fever, and inflammation. Ibuprofen is most often used to treat arthritis (Cluevers 2004). Alcohol is often used as a solvent in medical drugs, because of its low toxicity and ability to dissolve non-polar substances. Ethanol is often used as an antiseptic, to disinfect the skin before injections are given. When processed correctly Alcohol is drunk in recreation. Alcohol affects the body as a nervous system depressant (Wong 1997).

Nicotine like caffeine is a stimulant. This stimulant is found in cigarettes....
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