Alcohol And Brine Shrimps

Abstract Alcohol catches the interest of many scientists because of its different effects on human, especially during pregnancy. These effects can also be seen in lower forms of organisms, such as that of the crustacean brine shrimp. By studying these, the scientists can get a better understanding on the mechanisms underlying the alcohol’s effects. When other conditions are held constant, a very high amount of alcohol should inhibit the growth or hatching of these brine shrimp eggs.

By growing brine shrimp eggs exposed to different concentrations of alcohol and observing the larvae afterwards, the effects of alcohol on these organisms can be revealed in a quantified manner. To do so, volumes of 0. 0 mL. 0. 1 mL, 0. 25 mL and 0. 5 mL of a 100% alcohol were placed in different Petri dishes containing 10 mL of brine solution each. Brine shrimp eggs were then placed and left for a week before the eggs and larvae were obtained and counted. Results show that there are more eggs hatched on the system with no alcohol in it.

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Though the plate with higher alcohol content showed a relatively large number of hatched eggs, it has a higher amount of dead larvae compared to the dishes having lower alcohol content. This shows that alcohol works in two ways, preventing the hatching of brine shrimp eggs and causing deaths to the larvae. I. Introduction Brine shrimps (Artemia) are small crustaceans, and not closely related to the common shrimp. They are usually termed as “sea-monkeys” and sold in pet stores as fish food.
They are very resistant in adverse conditions, and their eggs are able to stay dormant until the right environment induces their birth. Many of these are seen in large bodies of water, for they serve as food for the larger fish and other organisms present in the ecosystem. One interesting fact of these crustaceans is the ability of their eggs to undergo cryptobiosis, a characteristic where they exhibit a “hidden life” by maintaining a metabolically inactive state. This happens during adverse conditions that inhibit the growth of the organism.
In this case, brine shrimp eggs stay dormant as long as there are large fluctuations in the environment caused by factors such as temperature, oxygen content, and acidity. Because of this, brine shrimps are excellent to be test subjects for this experiment regarding the effects of alcohol on early development. Brine shrimp eggs can also hatch at a short p of time, and grow into larvae capable of swimming by themselves in just a matter of days. Furthermore, there are no known ethical issues regarding the use of these organisms. In fact, a number of studies using this genus have been performed throughout history.
One of these is the research of Antonio Marquez’s group, where they tested the effects of bacteria on Artemia franciscana. They cultivated the organism in 10 different strains of bacteria together with some major feeds. The treatment resulted to the Artemis survivors having a longer length. The bacteria added played an important role in providing direct feed for the Artemia. They provided essential proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and inorganic nutrients (Marques, 2005). These results can be taken into consideration when designing this experiment.
Since the experiment aims to determine the effects of alcohol only, the medium on which the brine shrimp are to be grown must be free of other substances, especially bacteria that might contribute additional nutrients for the organism to grow. The experiment by Marquez also shows the versatility of these brine shrimps in data gathering experiments done on the lab. They are easy to cultivate and grow. Another research, which can complement the purpose of this experiment, is the one tackling about the toxicity of the chemical diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) when exposed to Aremtia salina The group of S.
Sanchez-Fortun and M. V. Barahona found out that on high concentrations of DFP, a longer development time is evident on Artemia larvae. A more concentrated solution even showed death on some of the larvae. Several treatments were tested, including addition of the compounds atropine, physostigmine pyridostignime. But only the compound 2-pyridine aldoxime methoiodide (2-PAM) proved to be effective in preventing intoxication due to DFP (Sanchez-Fortum, 2007). These results show the lethal effects of some chemicals to the larvae of some organisms.
Aside from DFP, alcohol is another substance that is believed to have bad effects on organisms during their pre-birth stage. In higher animals, such as humans, alcohol is usually blamed for miscarriages, prematurity, and many other defects on birth. This alarming substance caught the attention of many, and efforts have been made to make the public aware of the dangers posed by alcohol. Such effects of alcohol are made notice by Brimacombre and his team. Sometime before the year 2007 ended, they conducted a study to asses the knowledge of health professionals regarding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASD.
They conducted several presentations, lectures and demos to health professionals across New Jersey over a four-month period. The groups were then asked to answer a series of 20 questions to determine the depth of their understanding regarding FASD. The results showed that though they are well versed with the basics of FASD, these health group professionals reveal weaknesses in some important areas. One of these is the lack of knowledge on some core diagnosis and treatment of FASD. It was then concluded that more efforts must be done to further increase the awareness of the public to the facts of alcoholism (Brimacombe, 2008).
If alcohol has a severe effect on humans, then it is safe to assume that it would also have a devastating impact on lower creatures such as the brine shrimps. This experiment is designed to illustrate the possible threats of varying concentration of alcohol to Artemia. The alcohol’s effects will be determined by adding varying amounts of it to the culture of unhatched brine shrimp eggs. The eggs and possible young hatchlings from the different treatments will then be manually counted and compared with each other.
Taking into consideration prior knowledge and previous studies made, high alcohol content would not be optimum for the brine shrimps to live. The treatment containing the most alcohol would then probably have less or no brine shrimp larvae present compared to those cultures with little or no alcohol in it. II. Methodology Prior to the experiment, the solutions and equipments to be used were prepared. Four Petri dishes, brine solution, 100% alcohol, some toothpicks and a brine shrimp egg solution were placed close by for easy access.
The Petri dishes were then marked with numbers “1”, “2”, “3” and “4”. A volume of 10 mL of brine solution was then added to each Petri dish. In the Petri dish labeled “1”, 0. 1 mL of alcohol was added and mixed. In the same manner, 0. 25 mL of alcohol was added to Petri dish “2” and 0. 5 mL of it to Petri dish “3”. No alcohol was added to Petri dish “4”, as this is be used as the control system. A clean toothpick was then taken, wetting it by dipping it in a brine solution first, and then in the container with brine shrimp eggs.
The eggs were then transferred to Petri dish “1” by slowly stirring the toothpick in the brine solution contained in the Petri dish until all eggs are dislodged from the toothpick. A new toothpick is then used to transfer eggs in the same manner to Petri dishes “2”, “3” and “4”, using a fresh toothpick for each Petri dish. The eggs were allowed to sit for a week and then they were observed. The eggs and larvae were counted using a toothpick and viewed with a microscope. The data were then recorded and compared.

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