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CORE BIOLOGY PRACTICALS

You will need to know these practicals as the exam board may ask you questions based on them. Below is a summary of each one.
Name of practical and Other variables to Other equipment Method and outcome Possible evaluation issues
independent & dependent be controlled
variables
Temperature Microscope, counter, Method: Remove 1 Daphnia and place in cavity slide. Remove pond water and Ensuring Daphnia were same size
Effect of caffeine on Daphnia Volume of solutions cavity slide, dropping replace with distilled water. Leave for 5mins to acclimatise then observe & count If left too long under microscope, temp
heart rate Stress of Daphnia pipettes, stop clock, heart rate under microscope for 30s, multiply number by 2 to calculate beats/min. increases (due to lamp) = increased heart rate
Size of Daphnia distilled water, test Repeat with 2 more Daphnia. Repeat again, this time with small concentration of Ensuring enough data is collected
Independent: caffeine Time of tubes, stop clock caffeine solution in place of distilled water. Carry out for 5 concentrations of caffeine Too high concentration of caffeine kills
concentration acclimatisation = 3 repeats at 3 concentrations. Daphnia
Dependent: heart rate of Outcome: as caffeine concentration increased, heart rate increased Counting of heart beat can be inaccurate
Daphnia
Temperature 1% DCPIP solution, 1% Method: pipette 1cm3 blue DCPIP into test tube. Using burette (or accurate pipette) Difficulty in controlling temperature
Measuring the content of Concentration of vitamin C solution, range add 1% vitamin C solution drop by drop. Shake tube gently after each drop. Continue Amount of shaking (too much adds oxygen
Vitamin C in fruit juice DCPIP solution (1%) of fruit juices, test until the blue colour just disappears. Record volume of solution needed to which will slightly restore the DCPIP to blue)
Shake each tube tubes/conical flasks, decolourise the DCPIP. Repeat further 2 times and calculate mean result. Repeat End point difficult to judge as needs to be just
Independent: fruit juice same number of beakers, pipette procedure with different fruit juices. when blue colour disappears especially in
Dependent: volume of juice times accurate to 1cm3, Calculations: 1cm3 of 1% vitamin C solution contains 1mg Vitamin C, therefore mass highly coloured juices
required to decolourise 1cm3 of Same end point burette, safety goggles in 1cm3 = 10mg x volume of 1% vitamin C to decolourise 1cm3 of DCPIP. Some loss of solution when transferring from
DCPIP colour. i.e. until the Mass in sample = mass of vitamin C to decolourise 1cm3 DCPIP volume of sample one beaker to another
blue colour of DCPIP required to decolourise 1cm3 DCPIP Accuracy of measuring equipment
just disappears
Volume of distilled Raw beetroot, size 4 Method: using cork borer and knife, cut pieces of beetroot into 1 cm length Some beetroot may have skin on affecting
The effect of temperature on cell water cork borer, white tile, cylinders. Place in distilled water overnight to remove any dye released on surface area.
membranes Time left in water knife, ruler, beaker, preparation. Wash and blot dry. Place 8 boiling tubes of distilled water into 8 water Difficulty in maintaining temperature
Size of beetroot forceps, water baths, baths of different temperature. Once at temperature, add a piece of beetroot to Accurate reading of the colorimeter
Independent: temperature of piece boiling tubes, each and leave for 30 mins. Remove beetroot and shake tubes to disperse dye. Set Accurate size of beetroot
water thermometer, colorimeter to % absorbance on blue/green filter. Calibrate using distilled water in a From the different parts of the root
Dependent: % transmission of colorimeter & cuvettes, cuvette first then add 2cm3 of beetroot solution from the first temp to a new Ensuring same amount of time at the
light through resulting solution stop clock, distilled cuvette. Place into colorimeter to read % absorbance. Repeat for all other pieces. different temperatures
water, syringe Calculations & outcome: to calculate % transmission = 100-%absorbance.
As temperature increased, % transmission slightly increased to a point at which it
greatly increased due to membrane molecules gaining more heat energy, vibrating
more to a point where the vibrations caused large gaps in the membrane enabling the
release of dye also proteins in membrane denatured leaving large pores.
Temperature Protease e.g.1% trypsin, Method: make up different concentrations of enzyme using distilled water. Ensure Maintaining constant temperature
The effect of changing enzyme Volume of enzyme casein solution, small different syringes for different chemicals to prevent cross contamination. Set up Accurately making up the different
concentration on rate of Volume of beakers, thermometer, water bath for temperature to keep constant. Place 1 test tube of 5cm3 casein concentrations
reaction. substrate distilled water, syringes, solution into water bath alongside second tube containing 2cm3 of 0.2% trypsin. Identifying end point consistently
Concentration of stopclock, large beaker Allow to acclimatise for 3 mins so that at same temperature then add trypsin to Difficult to see the cross through the solution
Independent: concentration of substrate casein, start stop clock. Time how long it takes for casein solution to turn transparent.
enzyme pH (mark a ‘X’ on the other side of tube, as soon as seen through solution stop clock).
dependent: time taken for Repeat a further 2 times then repeat for next concentration.
enzyme to break down substrate Calculations & outcome: rate = 1 time
As concentration of enzyme increases, rate of reaction increases until a plateau point
where all enzyme has metabolised all substrate immediately.
Using catalase in yeast Method: using first concentration of yeast solution, acclimatise to desired Attaching syringe can be slower allowing loss
and hydrogen peroxide temperature alongside separate tube of hydrogen peroxide. Set up gas syringe and of gas
set to 0. Quickly add peroxide to yeast and attach gas syringe. Read off the volume of Inaccurate reading of gas syring
oxygen gas produced every 10 mins until 3 readings are the same. Repeat 3 times for Inaccurate reading of syringes in making up
each concentration of yeast solution. dilutions
Calculations & outcome: rate = initial rate of reaction = gradient at steepest point Reaction going too quickly to read
from graphs of volume against time for each concentration. Outcome as protease
above