Osmosis and diffusion are fundamental processes in biology, enabling the movement of molecules within living organisms. Osmosis is the specific diffusion of water molecules, while diffusion encompasses all other molecules. Osmosis is vital for regulating water transport in and out of cells, while diffusion facilitates the movement of essential nutrients.
One real-world example of osmosis is observed when a person consumes a sports drink after exercising. The drink, with a higher sugar and electrolyte concentration than their blood, causes water to flow from the bloodstream into the drink, balancing the concentrations
Diffusion manifests in various scenarios, from water passing through porous materials to the dispersion of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It's also evident in everyday situations like the scent of perfume wafting into the air and light diffracting through a prism.
In educational experiments, students use gems to illustrate how nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream through diffusion. They demonstrate osmosis with potatoes in sugar solutions, as water moves from lower sugar concentration to higher. Additionally, a jelly experiment with dilute hydrochloric acid exemplifies the occurrence of diffusion within biological cells. Understanding these processes is fundamental to comprehending vital biological functions.