Q:

What is cell diffusion?

A:

Quick Answer

Cellular diffusion is the process that causes molecules to move in and out of a cell. Molecules move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. When there is a higher concentration of molecules outside of a cell, then more molecules enter the cell than leave. When there is a higher concentration of molecules inside of a cell, then more molecules leave the cell than enter.

Know More

Full Answer

When molecules are evenly distributed, then an equal number of molecules are entering and leaving the cell. This is called equilibrium.

It is possible to observe osmosis, or the diffusion of water across a cell membrane, by performing a simple experiment using two slices of potatoes, two glasses of water and table salt. Fill one glass with water, and place a slice of potato in the water. Fill another glass with water, and add a slice of potato and 2 tablespoons of table salt. Let the potato slices soak. Then observe the slices.

The potato slice in the salt water look smaller and feel mushier. This is because more water molecules left the potato's cells than entered them. The water molecules moved to where there was less concentration of water molecules (the salt water solution surrounding the potato).

The potato slice in water only looks bigger and feels firmer. This is because there is more salt and other dissolved chemicals (solutes) within the potato. The water molecules moved from the outside area where there is a higher concentration of water molecules to the potato's cells, where there is more solute and less concentration of water molecules.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is cell differentiation?

    A:

    Cell differentiation describes the process by which a cell is destined to become a particular type of cell, according to the Department of Biology at Kenyon College. The zygote is a cell formed from the union of sperm and an egg and is considered totipotent, meaning it can develop into any type of cell in the body. The first few cell divisions from this zygote are also totipotent.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do facilitated diffusion carrier proteins and cell membranes both pump?

    A:

    Facilitated diffusion uses carrier proteins to pump substances across the cell membrane that would not normally be able to cross the membrane on their own. These substances include sodium and chloride ions and molecules such as glucose.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why can't a damaged cell in the brain be replaced?

    A:

    Damaged human brain cells do not regenerate because the process that creates brain cells, neurogenesis, ceases before birth for many brain structures and in all but one brain structure by age two, according to BrainFacts.org. Brain cells only regenerate in the hippocampus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does chloroplast do in a plant cell?

    A:

    In plant cells, chloroplasts perform photosynthesis, a process that converts light energy from the sun into chemical energy in the form of glucose. Plants can later use this stored chemical energy to carry out activities integral to life, such as growth and reproduction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore