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Enzyme Investigation - Amylase

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Enzyme Investigation - Amylase Plan I am going to investigate the effects of four different concentration of amylase solution on the breakdown of starch. I have chosen amylase because enzymes act on one particular substance or groups of substances i.e. they have a specific function. The shape of the molecule, especially the active site is linked with this specificity. A simple way of explaining this specificity is in terms of the lock and key hypotheses. The shape of the active site matches the shape of the substrate molecule so the substrate can fit into the active site and amylase can react and breakdown starch. According to Susan Toole, 'Advance Human and Social Biology', 'the active site of an enzyme may be used again and again. Enzymes therefore work efficiently at very low concentrations. The number of substrate molecules which an enzyme can act upon in a given time is called its turnover number. Provided the temperature and other conditions are suitable for the reaction, the rate of a reaction should be directly proportional to the enzyme concentration' (page 35). Figure 1 shows 'the rate of reaction in the first 30 seconds for an enzyme concentration investigation'. ...read more.


This will make sure all the tests are identical which means the experiment will be fair. Therefore I do not need to change the temperature, ph, and the substrate concentration. * Use different syringes when filling the amylase and starch solution which will prevent contamination between the solutions. * Using a partner I will immediately start the stop-clock after the two solutions have been mixed. This will ensure the accuracy of the experiment, as the time will not be lost when the solutions are added. * I will also place two drops of the mixture after 30 seconds in each spotting tile using a pipette as this will ensure that equal volumes of solution is added. * With the assistance of my partner I will be informed when to place the two mixtures in the spotting tiles as if I was working alone I may lose valuable seconds and inaccurate results. Safety The most important part of the experiment is safety of yourself and others; this meant I needed to take serious measures. First of all, the use of iodine is very dangerous as iodine is an irritant, so safety glasses must be worn at all times and care must be taken. ...read more.


The shaking of the two solutions is not reliable as one solution may have been shaken more then another, which effects the rate of reaction because more molecules may have been colliding more in one test tube then another. I could also question the reliability of the results because only one set of results was obtained. I could improve this by replicating the experiment to obtain more consistent results. Also, the measurements of the two solutions may have been inaccurate, as we did not have enough time to conduct the experiment. The reading of time may not have been precise as it takes time for the solution to be taken into the syringe and dropped in the white spotting tile. I could have improved this by telling my partner to inform me a few seconds earlier to get ready rather then doing it on the spot. A major problem is the judgements made on the colour. It was very difficult to distinguish between the colour of mid-brown. At once stage, my partner and me were disagreeing against the colour of the solution in the spotting tile. Finally, to improve the experiment I could of used various techniques that may have been more suitable ................ Ateeq Rashid ...read more.

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