Diffusion, osmosis and active transport

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  • Diffusion
    • the spreading of the particles of a gas or a substance in a solution
    • Factors that affect the rate of diffusion
      • concentration: greater the difference, the faster the rate
      • distance: smaller the distance, faster the rate
      • surface area: greater the surface area, the faster the rate
    • Leaves are adapted so diffusion happens quickly
    • leaves are thin to reduce the distance that gases have to diffuse through
    • Osmosis
      • type of diffusion that involves random movement of water molecules
      • movement of water across a partially permeable membrane from an area of high water concentration to an area of low water concentration
      • partially permeable membrane
        • allows water molecles through
        • stops solute molecules getting through because they are too large
      • Active Transport
        • allows cells to absorb sugar and ions, which can pass through cell membranes from very dilute substances
        • movement of dissolved molecules into or out of a cell through the cell membrane, from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration


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