Electron Transport Chain: A rollercoaster ride that produces energy

Electron Transport Chain: A rollercoaster ride that produces energy
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Electron Transport Chain: A rollercoaster ride that produces energy Virtual Lab Simulation

In the Electron Transport Chain simulation, you’ll meet Roxy, the lead engineer for a project in north Alaska. Here, environmental protection has been made a priority. With VR, you will fly over the ocean on a journey to discover that the most problematic facilities are the coal power plant and the fish farm, which are causing glacier melting and eutrophication. But fear not, Roxy has come up with a brilliant idea to produce biofuel from algae using the excess of nutrients from the fish farm and the heat and CO2 from the coal plant. When scuba diving, she found some mysterious dark algae and now she needs your help to figure out if the algae can use green light to perform photosynthesis.

Use the Hill reaction and spectrophotometry

Most plants are green, so they reflect this colour and absorb other wavelengths, which they use for photosynthesis. However, green is a major component of the visible light spectrum, so combining algae that use green light with algae that use other wavelengths maximises the use of sunlight. In this simulation, you will use the Hill reaction and spectrophotometry to measure electron flow and find out if the pigments can use green light for photosynthesis.

Look inside a chloroplast

To understand how photosynthesis works, you will shrink to a tiny size and see what happens during the electron transport chain. You will be able to click on the different molecules to see electrons and protons moving, water molecules splitting and the ATP synthase spinning around to pump protons and produce ATP.

Don’t forget your controls!

Dr. One has already extracted pigments for you. It can be very handy to have a virtual assistant! Now, to check out if the pigments can use green light, you will set up an experiment. In order to properly test your hypothesis, you will need to prepare and measure your sample, as well as positive and negative controls.

Measure photosynthesis

The Hill reaction uses DCPIP, a redox dye, which helps measure the electron flow from photosystem II. By comparing the absorption spectra of your pigment sample exposed to green light only in the spectrophotometer to those of the controls, you will be able to figure out if the dark algae are able to perform photosynthesis using green light or not.

Get Started Now

Help a group of engineers figure out if a mysterious dark alga is able to do photosynthesis using green light and measure this process with the Hill reaction. If it is, your work will help create a sustainable plan that will use sunlight and pollution sources for biofuel production.

Techniques In Lab

  • Centrifugation
  • Hill reaction
  • Spectrophotometry

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand the importance and uses of photosynthesis
  • Understand the photolysis of water and electron transport
  • Understand properties of light and why pigments are colorful
  • Develop a hypothesis and set up an experiment to test it
  • Understand how to measure the redox potential of the electron transport chain

Screenshots of Electron Transport Chain: A rollercoaster ride that produces energy Virtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 108 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course