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Have the uses of enzyme technology in industry and medicine been of benefit to society?

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Introduction

Have the uses of enzyme technology in industry and medicine been of benefit to society? Enzyme's are used all round the world all the time and are have huge potential in the commercial world. In this essay, I am going to look at two sides of the argument for which if enzyme technology is beneficial to our society through medicine and industry. (1) Industrial uses of enzymes include using enzymes for the confectionery market. Traditionally sucrose was used to produce the sweetness of soft drinks or in artificial sweeteners, now a high fructose syrup is used which is created from enzymes. Fructose is used, as it is cheap and sweeter than sucrose. The four enzymes used to produce this syrup are bacteria alpha - amylase, fungal amyloglucosidase, pullulanse, and bacterial glucose isomerase. The glucose isomerase is used to convert the originally glucose into a mixture of fructose and glucose. Enzymes are quite common in the textile industry. ...read more.

Middle

The pancreas produces lipase, protease and natural amylase; these are supplemented by the enzymes in humans to help digestion. A condition called lactose intolerance is a condition, which some people have which means they cannot ingest milk or any dairy products; this is because they lose the enzyme called lactase. This enzyme can be given to the patient to help avoid stomach upsets. (3) Enzymes in the pancreas can also be dangerous for humans; one such disease is pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas produces digestive enzymes in the epithial cells. When in the pancreas they are inactive to prevent the enzymes actually digesting the pancreas cells. Patients with pancreatitis cause these enzymes to become active, so these two-protein digesting enzymes break down the cells, which destructs the pancreas. (2) Enzymes are used for Analytical tests, maybe to test for HIV or a diabetic uses this method to test their sugar levels. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ethical issues may be raised in the medical side of this as some people do not agree with using chemical enzymes to rebuild a life, but I feel that they are a real benefit. Everyone should have his or her chance to live a normal life. (5) Enzymes do not pose any threat to the environment, as they are biodegradable. Most enzymes are organic so therefore composed of mainly carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. The issues if environment are very important when using enzymes but the environment does benefit from them in the sense that they can replace harmful chemicals like acids or alkali's. There are enzymes, which are used, in animal feed which I have not outlined about in my essay but they benefit the environment as they allow more complete digestion. This then leads to fewer animals waste. (7) The main environmental benefits of enzymes is their ability to work at mild conditions and low temperatures. This then saves energy and reduces pollution. The break down products of enzymes, amino acids, are non-toxic. ...read more.

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