Investigative Biology (SXR270) day 6

It was on to plants this morning which I know nothing about other than what was in the background reading material.

First off we were given an overall briefing on what we’ll be doing over the three sessions before we broke up into our two subgroups.

We were looking at how carbon fixing in plant leaves is affected by a range of conditions which we selected. We chose to look at the differences between the upper and lower surface of tobacco leaves and set about drilling 10 holes in a leaf for each of the two surfaces. Since we didn’t want carbon to sneak in the other side we’d to put a layer of vaseline on the filter paper we were using. Then it was off to the tutor so she could add the mixture to create our radioactive carbon dioxide.

Although it looked like it would be incredibly fiddly to do it worked out well and after tea we set about testing the various samples that we’d created by way of the Geiger counter. As always, the whole process took longer than I’d have expected at the off so it was quite a late lunch today.

With the statistics involved I thought at one point that we might need the big green book but we didn’t as all the necessary information was in the handouts. So I’ve been lugging it around for no reason at all.

After lunch we were joined up in one 24-strong group to do an experiment on the stomata of a plant. The reason why we were operating as a large group became very clear when the results were ready. They were all over the place with next to no consistency between groups. Basically an experiment that doesn’t work too well and the only total failure (so far) for the week.

For some reason plant experiments take even longer so we didn’t get away ’til after 5pm this evening which doesn’t bode well for tomorrow when I really have to get away on time.

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