Essay about Biology and the Properties of Gas Exchange Surfaces

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Properties of Gas exchange surfaces
Alveolus – Air sac in the lungs
• Hundreds of thousands in lungs
• Increase lungs SA

SA:V ratio = Surface area

0.5 cm cube – 2mm cubed of non dyed agar
1cm cube – 5mm cubed of non dyed agar
2cm cube – 18mm cubed of non dyed agar


Alveoli are so small.
• Diffusion is fast - blood capillary nearby
• Thin walls (alveoli and capillary) (one cell thick)
• Numerous Alveoli – Increases SA of Lungs (Each alveolus is small for quick diffusion)
• Lots of blood capillaries next to alveoli

SA = rate of diffusion
Difference in concentration gradient = Rate of diffusion
Thickness of gas exchange surface = Rate of diffusion

Thickness of gas exchange surface

Protein Structure
Proteins are made up of amino acids
• Primary Structure
• Secondary Structure
• Tertiary Structure
• Quaternary Structure

Primary Structure – Chain of Amino Acids
COOH – Carboxylic acid group
NH2 – Amine Group

Condensation – Loss of H20 (joining of acids)
Hydrolysis – Gain of H20 (splitting of acid chain)

Peptide bond formed in condensation reaction (p for protein)
Each time an Amino Acid joins the chain there is a condensation reaction.
2 Amino Acids = Dipeptide bond
More than 2 Amino Acids (long chain) = Polypeptide – (Primary Structure - Chain of Amino Acids)
Secondary Structure
Alpha Helix or Beta pleated sheet (Sheet or spring)

Structures are held together with an H Bond
H Bonds form between the C=0 of the Carboxylic acid group and the N-H of the amine group

Alpha Helix – H bond happens between eve...

... middle of paper ...

• Another experiment involved the fusing of mouse and human cells
• The proteins mixed proving the FMM right, because the proteins could not have mixed if there was no fluid in the membrane

The more unsaturated phospholipids the more fluid
The more unsaturated phospholipids containing unsaturated fatty acids in the membrane the more fluid it is. The “kinks” in the Hydro C tails of the unsaturated phospholipids prevent them from packing closer together, making more movement possible.
Cholesterol reduces the fluidity, by preventing phospholipid movement

Different types of protein are found within the membrane, each having specific functions. Some are enzymes others as carriers and channel proteins involved in transport of substances in and out of cells.
Glycoprotein’s and glycolipids have important roles in cell to cell recognition and as receptors.

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