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An investigation to see how the number of immobilized yeast beads affects the production of oxygen when mixed with hydrogen peroxide.

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Emma Bassett An investigation to see how the number of immobilized yeast beads affects the production of oxygen when mixed with hydrogen peroxide Catalase is the fastest known enzyme in the world with a turn over number of 6 million per minute. Hydrogen Peroxide ------------------------> water + oxygen 2H O -----------------------> 2H O + O Hydrogen Peroxide is a product of metabolism, and in large quantities it is toxic. Catalase is necessary to break down the Hydrogen Peroxide before it damages the metabolizing cells; it is also the only enzyme that can break down Hydrogen Peroxide, because all enzymes are specific to their own substrates. In my experiment, I will attempt to find out whether the volume of the enzyme Catalase has an effect on the rate of production of oxygen from the Hydrogen Peroxide substrate. Hypothesis I expect that as the volume of beads increases, the production rate of oxygen will also increase. This is because of the following information. Enzymes are very complex 3 dimensional globular proteins. The small part of the enzyme that comes into contact with the substrate (in this case Hydrogen Peroxide), is called the active site, it is theorized that enzymes work with a "lock and key" mechanism (the enzyme's active site being the lock, the substrate being the key). ...read more.


These variables are to be kept the same because they will affect the outcome of the experiment and may affect how much oxygen is released. The results are to be recorded in a table and a graph showing the mean value of oxygen released for each number of beads. Risk Assessment The enzyme is of a very low risk, but the Hydrogen Peroxide is corrosive and an irritant so eye protection must be worn at all times, as well as a lab coat. If there was to be a spillage of Hydrogen Peroxide, it is essential that it is cleared away immediately, it should be mopped up with a dry disposable towel and then the surface washed thoroughly with water. If any solution spilt onto skin or into the eyes, then the area should be washed immediately with plenty of water. If irritation persists then medical help should be found. If any is swallowed then medical help should be found immediately. There are no ethical implications in this experiment. Results Number of yeast beads Amount of Oxygen collected - Repeats (cm ) Mean amount of oxygen collected (cm ) 1 2 3 10 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.5 20 6 7 6 6.3 30 7.5 6.5 7 7 40 9.5 10.5 10 10 50 ...read more.


Whilst all attempts were made to make a constant regular shape and size of beads, it is probable that there were different sizes of beads. If the beads were smaller then less immobilized enzyme would be present per bead, and so therefore affecting the amount of active sites present and reaction rate attained. If the beads were bigger then the active sites would be increased and so the reaction rate would increase too. This experiment is but one and you can not say that the results are conclusive because different samples would produce different results each time. It is also just studying one enzyme, and so the results are not generalisable to other enzymes, though it is probable that the same general trend is shown in all enzymes. As such a small set of values were used, the experiment does not fully answer the question of whether the volume of enzyme affects the rate of reaction. The experiment performed had to be of a smaller scale, to avoid spillages and risks of over flowing substrate. In a larger scale experiment, wider values could be explored to hopefully extend upon the conclusion and find additional evidence. ...read more.

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