By L. V. Heilbrunn
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Additional resources for The Dynamics of Living Protoplasm
Using currents which were not strong enough to kill or seriously injure the cells, Heilbrunn and Daugherty determined the effect of the current on the rate of travel of the chloroplasts with the electric current and their rate of travel against the current. The results were at first thought to be disappointing, for in some cases the chloroplasts moved more rapidly toward the cathode, in other cases their speed was more rapid toward the anode. Of 40 cells tested, only 16 showed a greater speed of chloroplasts toward the cathode, 24 showed a greater speed toward the anode.
When this occurs, the protoplasmic inclusions which were moving vigorously toward the cathode immediately move in the opposite direction. Probably this is due to the fact that once released from the cell the granules are no longer in a medium rich in carbon dioxide, and thus as the pH of their immediate environment becomes higher, they become negatively charged. In the discussion thus far, we have tried to show that although the exterior region of the cell has negatively charged colloids, the colloids of the main mass of the protoplasm are positively charged, or at any rate they are positively charged in cells in which carbon dioxide is being rapidly evolved.
The force was small, indicating that the egg as a whole possessed but little elasticity. However, the force necessary to compress the egg increased as during compression the surface grew larger. This Cole believed indicated the presence of an elastic membrane around the egg, for if forces of interfacial tension alone were involved, there would be no such increase as the surface increased. (This follows from the fact that surface or interfacial tension does not increase appreciably as the surface is stretched.