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What will happen if cells are placed in distilled water?
(a) The cells remain unchanged.
(b) Water moves from the inside of the cell to the outside.
(c) Water moves from the outside of the cell to the inside.
(d) The cells shrink.
(e) The cells dissolve.

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Last updated date: 17th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: The behavior of cells in concern to water movement depends on the surrounding solution. If the external solution is more dilute than the cytoplasm, it is said to be hypotonic and the cell tends to swell in hypotonic solutions. Distilled water is hypotonic as compared to a cell.

Complete answer:
When cells are placed in distilled water, water moves from outside the cell to the inside. A cell may contain many solutes so it is considered hypertonic when compared to distilled water which is hypotonic So in this case, when a cell is placed in distilled water, water moves from outside of the cell to the inside leading to swelling of the cell.

Additional Information:
Water, when boiled to vapor and then condensed back into liquid form in a separate container, is called ‘distilled water.’ The impurities present in the original water which does not get boiled below or near the boiling point of water are separated in the original container. Thus, distilled water is free from impurities and solutes and is a type of purified water.
So, the correct answer is ‘Water moves from outside of the cell to the inside.’

Note: -When a cell is placed in an isotonic solution there is no net movement of a liquid across the semipermeable membrane leading to no change in cell size. Such a cell is called a flaccid cell.
-When a cell is placed in a hypertonic solution such as saltwater, the solution from the cell tends to move towards the outside. The cell may also shrink and is said to be plasmolyzed.