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Enzyme use in Medicine and Industry

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Enzyme use in Medicine and Industry There are many uses for enzymes. An enzyme is a type of protein found in all living cells. They act as biological catalysts, allowing the chemical reactions of metabolism to take place, controlling the speed of the reaction. Enzymes owe their activity to their three-dimensional structural shape. According to the 'lock-and-key' hypothesis, the substances upon which an enzyme acts fit into the active site. A chemical reaction takes place at this site and the products are released, leaving the enzyme unchanged. This can be repeated as often as 100,000/second. Enzymes are specific in relation to the substrates with which they work, and are normally effective for one reaction. They function best in optimum temperature and pH, their action can be slowed or stopped by inhibitors. The human body contains at least 1,000 different enzymes. Using enzymes is critical in understanding causes of diseases. Most genetic diseases are a result of enzyme deficiency. Some bacteria are more pathogenic because of enzyme activity. The majority of reactions that occur in living organisms are enzyme-controlled. ...read more.


According to a report, there is scarcely a top athlete who is not familiar with enzyme therapy. The top Austrian athletes are provided with enzyme capsules as a precaution to aid in rapid recovery after an injury. There are lots of advantages of using enzymes in medicine. Many enzymes are specific, producing more of the desired product, and fewer by-products. This is important in the manufacture of drugs, where the side products may be toxic. Enzymes can carry out reactions for which chemical catalysts are unknown: these are finding uses for making specialty chemicals and new drugs. Enzymes are widely used by industry - the global market is estimated at US$1.5 billion, and set to grow by 5-10% per year. The detergent, food and starch processing industries still account for 75% of 'bulk' enzyme use. Biotechnology is any application of machines to living organisms, or the study of the interactions of organisms and technological devices. Many industrial biotechnology products, such as beer, antibiotics or enzymes, are produced by growing microorganisms, under highly controlled conditions in fermenters. ...read more.


Enzymes, such as amylases and proteases, are being added to animal feed to supplement the animals' own enzymes and improve digestion. Most animal feedstuffs are plant-derived and contain 'anti-nutritional factors' that interfere with digestion in a variety of ways. Many of these factors are non-starch polysaccharides, from cereal grains. Adding enzymes to feedstuffs increases the nutritional value of feeds by breaking down these factors, aiding digestion and making nutrients more easily absorbed. Many enzymes have been genetically modified to improve their useful properties. For example, the enzyme used in washing powders has been modified to make it more stable at temperatures used for washing, and less likely to be inactivated by the high temperatures. Due to engineering techniques, enzymes have made it possible to obtain the highest possible yield from a reaction. There are many advantages of using enzymes over chemical catalysts. In manufacturing processes, enzymes often work at lower temperatures and pressures, and therefore save energy, thus saving money. Many enzymes are more efficient than their chemical counterparts, and do not require toxic chemical solvents to work, producing less waste and pollution, so are less damaging to the environment. Despite these advantages, much research and development is needed to make them cost-effective and able to compete economically with their chemical counterparts. ...read more.

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