I don’t know which was more fun, seeing plasmolysis in action or seeing all our Incredible Edible Cells! The students all did a great job on their project this week.
In Experiment 6.1, we looked at the differences between plant and animal cells. Here is what we discovered:
We had a hard time slicing the cork thin enough to really see the individual cells, but after trying again the next day I was able to see the cells more clearly. The next part of the experiment involves cutting onion, and I for one, was happy no one broke out in tears. I wrestled a tiny piece of the epidermis unto the slide, added Iodine to stain the cell and here’s what we were able to see:
Next we compared some plant cells (Zea Mays and Ranunculus) to animals cells (Hydra). Because of the 3D quality of the Hydra, it was difficult to get a good photo, but here goes:
We loved the geometric quality of this specimen. Reminds me of my old favorite toy, the Spirograph! Next up was the Ranunculous root:
The Hydra cells did not resemble the plant cells in any way:
In Experiment 6.2, we were fortunate to observe Cytoplasmic Streaming and Plasmolysis! I attempted making a video, but haven’t figured out how to edit it yet. It’s a little long, so once you’ve watched long enough to see the chlorplasts and the cytoplasmic streaming, you can fast forward about half way through the video. At that point, a salt water solution was introduced and you can see what happens:
For the final part of the experiment, a banana was introduced and we reminsced about Donkey Kong! Ba-Na-Na! Who can ever look at bananas the same again? We made our banana smear and stained it with Ionine. You can clearly see the large cells with the darkly stained Leukoplasts:
Ignore the air bubble and he’ll go away!
And lastly, no study of the cell would be complete without the Edible Cell Project. I was secretly hoping for something gooey and disgusting, but they all did an amazing job! You can click the picture to see a larger image.