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Experiment to investigate the effect of temperature on protease enzyme

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Paul Haycock Biology Coursework ????????????????????????????????? ??????? ?????????????????????????????? ???????????????????? An enzyme is a biological catalyst. This means that they speed up chemical reactions in the body without changing themselves. Enzymes are protein molecules which are usually denatured (damaged) by temeratures above about 45C. Enzymes work, like all catalysts, by providing a different pathway for the reaction to follow. The new reaction path has a lower activation energy and so the rate of the reaction is much faster than if no enzyme is present. Enzymes catalyse reactions using a lock and key mechanism. The reactants fit exactly into the enzymes active site and when the reaction has taken place the products are relesed from the enzyme, allowing it to catalyse another reaction. In humans enzymes are made in the pancreas, passed into the digestive system and secreted onto food in the stomach. This helps braek down the larger food molecules into smaller ones so that they cross the gut wall and enter the blood. Enzymes are also used in biological washing powders to help cleaning by dissolving stains like grass, blood etc. ...read more.


????????? The equipment I will be using is as follows: Water bath, Protease enzyme, Photographic film, Test tubes, Thin wire, 2 Thermometers and a Syringe. (see diagram below) ?????? To do this investigtion I will set up the equipment as shown on the previous page and continue as follows. First I will set the water bath to the desired temp. Then I will prepare my three test tubes by adding 3cm of protease enzyme to each. Next I will place the the test tubes into the water bath and use the thermometers to tes both the water and enzyme temp. When both of the thermometer readings correspond I will place the three piece's of photographic film into the three test tubes all at the same time so that mistakes in timing are not made. As the photographic film goes into the enzyme another person will start the stopwatch, this is so that the times are not shorter than they should be. Then I will keep checking the experiments to see if the enzyme has finished working. ...read more.


As can be seen by the results the enzyme must vibrate more as it reaches its peak temperature. As it reaches its peak temp. therefore it takes less time to break down the protein as it has more succesful collisions per second. As the temp. rises above the peak the process slows down and eventually comes to a stop as the enzyme denatures. When the protease enzyme is at a very low temperature, it does not vibrate as much or not at all. This means either less or no sucessful collisions per second. Therefore the protein does not get borken down but it does not mean the enzyme has denatured, as my results show. To improve my investigation I could take lots more readings around the peak temp. area to really pin down the actual peak at which the enzyme works. But as I had limited time this would be impractical. I could also look at other aspects of the experiment such as, does the concentration of the enzyme have any effect on the speed of the process. If I was to do more work on this, that is the aspect I would look at. ...read more.

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