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Cell Biology and its Internal Components

1. Identify two different types of organisms that you have seen interacting, such as bees and flowers. Now form a simple hypothesis about this interaction. Use the scientific method and your imagination to design an experiment that tests this hypothesis. Be sure to identify variables and a control for them.

Select a molecule. List the atoms that that molecule is composed of and describe the type of bond that holds those atoms together. Be sure to explain how this bond works.

1. The integrity of the plasma membrane is essential for cellular survival. Could the immune system utilize this fact to destroy foreign cells that have invaded the body? How might cells of the immune system disrupt membranes of foreign cells? (Two hints: virtually all cells can secrete proteins, and some proteins form pores in membranes.)
2. Most cells are very small. What physical and metabolic constraints limit cell size? What problems would an enormous cell encounter? What adaptations might help a very large cell to survive?
3. When a brown bear eats a salmon, does the bear acquire all the energy contained in the body of the fish? Why or why not? What implications do you think this answer would have for the relative abundance (by weight) of predators and their prey? Does the second law of thermodynamics help explain the title of the book, Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare?
4. You are called before the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives to explain why the U.S. Department of Agriculture should continue to fund photosynthesis research. How would you justify the expense of producing, by genetic engineering, the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction of RuBP with CO2 and prevents RuBP from reacting with oxygen as well as CO2? What are the potential applied benefits of this research?
Some species of bacteria that live at the surface of sediment on the bottom of lakes are facultative anaerobes; that is, they are capable of either aerobic or anaerobic respiration. How will their metabolism change during the summer when the deep water becomes anoxic (deoxygenated)? If the bacteria continue to grow at the same rate, will glycolysis increase, decrease, or remain the same after the lake becomes anoxic? Explain why.

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Bees visit the flowers on one bush more frequently than the other bush. Is it the sweet scent or the color of the flowers that attracts the bees?

1. Bees are attracted to the sweet scent (sugar content of flowers).
2. Bees are attracted to the color of the flowers.

In the experimental set-up, the experimental variable is present. In the control set-up, the experimental variable is missing.
To test the first hypothesis of whether bees are attracted to sugar, 2 sets of flowers should be set-up. For example, for set -up 1, a yellow flower shall be used and plain water shall be placed in its center. This shall be marked as the control set-up. Another set-up, which shall be labeled as the experimental set-up, shall have an identical flower with a sugar solution placed in its center. The presence of sugar is the experimental variable in this case.

To test the second hypothesis of whether bees are attracted to the color of the flowers, 2 sets of flowers shall have sugar solution placed on the center of each flower. The control set-up shall have a yellow flower with sugar solution. This shall be labeled as the control set-up. Another flower with a sugar solution placed in its center shall differ in color with the first flower...for example, a blue -colored flower. This shall be labeled as the experimental set-up, because it contains the experimental variable in this case: color.

(A logical prediction will then be made in the form of an "IF.... Then statement. This statement proposes what will happen if the hypothesis is correct>
Prediction for hypothesis 1: If bees are attracted to sugar solution, then there will be more bees on the experimental flower than on the control flower.
Prediction for hypothesis 2: If bees are attracted to blue color, then there will be more ...

Solution Summary

This in-depth solution addresses cell biology concepts of internal structure, surface area issues and immune cells. It also explains the process of aerobic and anaerobic respiration.