A new bacterium is discovered that has a unique ability to metabolize a compound toxic to most other organisms. The microbiologists researching this bacterium do not know how the bacterium takes up the compound from the environment. Design an experiment to determine whether uptake is passive or active.


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Assume that the toxic compound is some form of liquid (water or oil soluble).

Take a sample of the bacteria and irradiate them (inactivate them permanently). Immerse the inactive bacteria in the toxic liquid for a certain amount of time.

Remove the bacteria later, "wash" them off (against a sieve designed to filter bacteria) for toxin traces that could be on the membrane or cell wall, then liquefy the bacteria and test for presence of the toxic compound. If the uptake is active, there shouldn't be any of the toxic compound in the bacterium.


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