Daphnia Essay

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Alcohol and Caffeine vs. Daphnia heart rate

Abstract
This experiment was performed to observe the effects of alcohol and caffeine on the heart rate of a Daphnia magna.   There was a control group used along with the alcohol and caffeine to make sure we got accurate results.   It was predicted that the increasing concentrations of alcohol would decrease heart rate and the increasing concentrations of caffeine would increase heart rate, based on pervious experiments.   The results of this experiment proved the predictions to be valid and helped to make educated decisions about the effects of alcohol and caffeine in any living organism.

Introduction
Caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic.   Caffeine binds to cell surface receptors of heart muscle cells, mimicking the effect of epinephrine.   Binding of caffeine to these surface receptors blocks the enzyme that degrades intracellular cyclic AMP and thus leads to an increase of cyclic AMP inside the heart muscle cell.   Alcohol is produced through anaerobic fermentation by yeast or bacteria.   When alcohol is consumed it quickly enters the bloodstream and is distributed to all major organs in the body, such as the heart, brain, liver, pancreas, kidney, etc.   Unlike caffeine, alcohol is not a stimulant but a depressant.   Alcohol consumption can lead to coma and death.   (Gervasi, 2010) It is suggested to use Daphnia magna Straus as a biotest object for the evaluation of heart rate (HR) as a functional parameter.   (Eksp Klin Farmakol)   According to The Scientific Method II (C.Gervasi-2010), as a crustacean, the daphnia is closely related to freshwater and brine shrimp, and more distantly related to a crab and lobster.   The common name “water flea” comes from the jerky movement which they move through the water and their overall body shape.   The daphnia’s bodies are almost transparent and with a microscope, the heart beating can be seen, and sometimes even their last meal (the gut may appear green if the individual has been...

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