Osmosis is Serious Business!
Department of Biology
This directed case study involves two “stories,” each one concerned with some aspect of osmosis in living cells. Part I is centered around the effects of a hypertonic environment on plant cells, while Part II focuses on the effects of a hypotonic environment on human cells. After reading the parts, students working in small groups evaluate the information and answer the corresponding questions. This case was designed for use in a non-majors biology course, but could be adapted for use in a majors’ introductory biology course or a high school biology class.
- Understand solute concentration and the process of osmosis.
- Be able to determine the net direction of osmosis in a given situation.
- Understand osmosis in plant cells and be able to apply the term plasmolysis.
- Understand osmosis in animal cells and be able to apply the term lysis.
KeywordsOsmosis; diffusion; tonicity; hypertonic; hypotonic; lysis; plasmolysis; blood cells; fertilizer
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Cell Biology | Physiology | Botany / Plant Science |
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