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How is the rate of cellular respiration measured?

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Quick Answer

Cellular respiration is measured primarily through the use of two different methods: one that involves measuring changes in temperature over time and another that utilizes the exchanges and consumption of different gases through the use of a respirometer. Heat can be used to measure cellular respiration because it is an exergonic process. Because respiration is so closely tied to different gases, respirometers and measuring gases can also be used effectively.

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Full Answer

Cellular respiration is a process consisting of many different metabolic reactions that take place inside of the cells of organisms. These processes are able to convert different types of nutrients into energy and produce different waste products.

Measuring the rate at which a cell goes through respiration can be done in multiple ways. One simple way is to track the heat of the cell. This is possible because the process of converting nutrients into energy creates heat. The fluctuations in a cell's heat patterns can be analyzed to give scientists an idea of the rate at which it is respiring. Additionally, the measurement of certain gases, particularly oxygen and carbon dioxide, can be used. This is because oxygen is consumed during this process, and carbon dioxide is produced as a waste product. Different levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide can indicate whether or not a cell has recently gone through respiration.

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