The Effect of UVC Radiation on Pork Blood Cells

This is the lab report I wrote up following an experiment a group of classmates and I conducted in school.

Introduction

                UVC Radiation is the subtype C of ultraviolet radiation, which is classified as having a 280 nm–100 nm wavelength. Being that ultraviolet light is so much more powerful and energetic than visible light, it was supposed that exposure to this electromagnetic radiation would degenerate the cells to a smaller size. The entire purpose of this experiment was to test this hypothesis and observe the effects of strong electromagnetic radiation on the size of a cell, in this case pork red blood cells; red blood cells tend to be extremely tiny and appear to be very numerous, as was the case with the pork red blood cells.  Another key purpose for this experiment was to conduct a blind test to produce accurate results..

Procedure

                First, a drop of blood was placed on to one of two clean, microscope slides. A drop of methylene blue was then added to each of the slides to dye the cells a more visible color. After the dye was applied, both slides were topped off with a cover slip. Now that the slides were ready, observations of cell size and shape were recorded, after which the slides were taken by two members of the group and labeled with either the letters A, or B. The letters helped the members who didn’t see the observations keep track of each sample of blood. After being labeled, one of the slides, lettered B, was placed inside a UVC –generating light box for ten minutes, while the other was left alone. After the ten minutes of radiation exposure, the two members who had observed the cells before were asked to observe the cells’ sizes and their shape. Both of the two members identified B as the slide that had undergone radiation exposure, which indicated clear results.

Results

                The responding variable that was determined in this experiment was the average size of a cell, or the diameter of a cell, as measured by the needle in the microscope. The diameter seemed most logical because blood cells are very circular in shape.

Slide

Before Experiment (Average)

After Experiment (Average)

A

2-3 Microns

2-3 Microns

B

2-3 Microns

1-2 Microns

In addition to the size change of the blood cells on slide B after exposure, it appeared that many of the cells also ruptured or become more curvy, and lumpy.

Discussion

                According to the original hypothesis, the experiment was a success and the results reflect this very clearly. There are many potential reasons as to why this experiment worked as planned, but in the simplest terms, it would seem that the radiation was so strong that cells often ruptured as a result of radiation bombardment. Another theory suggests that the cells dried up due to the intense heat generated by the electromagnetic radiation. Regardless of the reason, the hypothesis was accurate within the parameters set, and cell size did go down by one-to-two microns because of the radiation exposure.

Procedure Evaluation

                The reliability and validity of this test come into serious question when it is seen that we have only used two samples in the research experiment, and only one was even subjected to the manipulated variable. To truly show that the original hypothesis was accurate, several more tests should have been run. Consistency would mean that the results are accurate and within reason. To better determine cell size, a more accurate measurement device should have been used, the arrow in the scope of the microscope was decent, but it was hard to identify the notches easily. In the future, further tests should be conducted on this for validity, but other forms of radiation should also be tested, to provide a comparison to the UVC radiation.

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