What is the difference between diffusion, osmosis and active transport?

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These are three key processes of movement that you need to be aware of.

Diffusion is the movement of dissolved solutes or gases from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration (down a concentration gradient). This is a passive process and so requires no energy in order to take place.

Osmosis is the movement of water down a concentration gradient (from high to low concentration) across a partially permeable membrane. Once again, this is a passive process and no energy is required.

Active transport is the movement of dissolved solutes across a membrane against a concentration gradient (moving from low to high concentration). This process requires a carrier protein, and energy in the form of ATP is required. 

Amy W.

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