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Biology Investigation --- the effects of temperature on the rate of action of amylase

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Introduction

James Fung 21stDecember,2002 Biology Investigation --- the effects of temperature on the rate of action of amylase Result: Temperature /(x) Time taken to break down starch /mins 1 2 3 4 5 Average (y) 0 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20 14 11 18 12 11 13.2 40 6 7 5 4 7 5.8 60 20+ 18 20+ 17 19 18.8 80 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 100 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ 20+ See Fig.1 * 20+ means the time taken for amylase to break down starch is more than 20 minutes and the actual time was not recorded Analysis: To analyse the results obtained, I have calculated their averages, as shown on the table above. Then I have drawn them out as scatter diagram in Fig.1 with straight lines joining the dots together. The graph shows that the average time taken for amylase to break down starch neither decreases nor increases the whole way through from 0 to 100. It gives a sort of parabola curve. When I looked closely to the biology behind what the curve shows, I found a reason for this. To understand what had happened, the knowledge of enzyme has to be known. ...read more.

Middle

It means that amylase may have a freezing point of 0. At 0, amylase may be frozen, so it is not functioning. But the enzyme will function again when the temperature is restored. However as the temperature increases from 0 to 40, the average time taken for amylase to break down starch decreases greatly from more than 20 minutes at 0 to only 5.8 minutes at 40. This is where the enzyme molecules, amylase, and the substrate molecules, starch, gain more kinetic energy from the increase of temperature. The collisions between amylase and starch increase and thus starch is being broken down quicker and quicker. At 60, the average time taken for amylase to break down starch suddenly falls back to 18.8 minutes. It shows that the optimum temperature for amylase to work best is around 40 and after that the enzyme is denatured. However denaturation takes time, so even when amylase is placed at 60, amylase doesn't all get denatured at once. With a little amount of amylase functioning, breaking down starch, the average time become much more. At 80 to 100, the average time taken for amylase to break down starch is 20+, this is because the enzyme, amylase, is denatured and it no longer function. ...read more.

Conclusion

Temperature --- as I was to see how quickly the starch is being broken down by amylase at different temperatures, the temperature recorded should be precise because, say a higher temperature than wanted means that enzyme and substrate gain more energy to move and produce more products than it should do at that temperature. This again affects the analysis that I made. Apart from just identifying the errors and limitations, their seriousness has to be taken into account. By comparing the different sources of errors I have mentioned above, I think those factors, which affect the reaction of the enzyme contributed the most to the inaccuracy of the results. Firstly, this is because enzyme is quite sensitive to these factors, so a slight change without realising would have changed the results obtained largely. Secondly, there are quite a number of these factors. After that, I think it would be the timing that has contributed most to the inaccuracy as there are four different ways that could have affected the results. And I think tem temperature would have had the least effect on the results as the temperature was controlled by the water bath. Overall, there weren't any anomalies in the experiment and the results meet quite well with the theory. End P.1 ...read more.

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