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The Paramecium tetraurelia is an unicellular ciliate that can be found in almost any sample of still water. Paramecium tetraurelia is a widely distributed, free-living unicellular organism that feeds on bacteria and can easily be cultured in the laboratory(Beisson,et al.,1970). Its large size and complex cellular organization facilitate morphogenetic studies of conserved structures, such as cilia and basal bodies, as well as electrophysiological studies of swimming behavior. Paramecium moves by means of the hair-like extensions on its surface, Cilia. The swimming behavior of the Paramecium culture is easy to observe under the light microscope.
Magnesium chloride is mainly used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. It is essential for maintenance in our body especially normal functioning of cells, nerves, muscles, bones, and the heart. Usually, a well-balanced diet provides normal blood levels of magnesium. After being informed about magnesium, many questions started to rise. How can a mineral supplement affect the speed for an unicellular organism? In addition to that , we observed the swimming behavior of Paramecium tetraurelia cells. The purpose of our experiment was to observe the effect environmental factors might play a role on the behavior of the Paramecium (Course Supplement for Biological Foundations I Bio 10100, Fall 2016).
In our initial observation the Paramecium culture moved in random directions. We then plugged the power supply and saw them move from the left to the right. Later on we reversed the connection of the wires and saw them move in the opposite direction, from the right to the left. We then followed the procedure instructions provided in the lab manual. After the first observation we thought of an overall hypothesis to our second experiment. Our initial hypothesis as a class was that, if we add treatment (Magnesium chloride) to the solution, then the average swimming speed might either increase or decrease.
In order to inaugurate our own experiment , as a group we first had to identify our variables. In our group experiment, the species that we tested were the paramecium culture. Our independent variable was the voltage which was added to detect any sudden changes of the direction , magnesium chloride would also be our independent variable.The dependent variable was the speed of the Paramecium (mm/s). Our standardized variable were the (30 volts), and total liquid volume 250 mL of Dryl’s solution. As treatment levels we had 0 mL, 5 mL, and 20 mL of Salts. The sample size of experiment was 4 mL f the Paramecium culture.
Our control treatment was held as the Paramecium was dropped into 250 mL of Dryl’s solution with no salts added to it in a 30 volt electrophoresis chamber. We replicated the control treatment twice. The 5 mL, and 20 mL treatments were replicated ten times each. The supplies that were used to perform are : a culture of Paramecium tetraurelia , IX Dry’s solution, Magnesium chloride (MgCl2), dissecting microscope, compound microscope, timers, pipettes. We used the light microscope to observe the swimming behavior of the Paramecium in different treatment levels. We predicted that if we add more salts, then the swimming speed will be slower. To analyze the data, I used Excel to draw a graph that compares the means of the control treatments and the experimental treatments (treatments with added salts) and two t-tests to compare the means of solutions with different treatment levels.
Our Hypothesis was that if we add treatment (Magnesium chloride) to the solution, then the average swimming speed of Paramecium might either increase or decrease. Therefore, the mean swimming speed of the tested Paramecium in the control treatments is significantly higher than the mean swimming speed of the tested Paramecium in the experimental treatments. It tends to slow down as we add more solution to Paramecium. For further experiment, we can test the Paramecium in different conditions such as cold temperature, medium temperature, and high temperature and observe how the culture will behave in different temperature levels. Not only that, we can also try adding different solutions to see if there are any significant changes as well. Then we can compare the calculated swimming speed of the culture in different temperatures and see if there is a significant difference between the calculated means.
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