• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Have the uses of enzymes in industry and medicine been a benefit to society?

Extracts from this document...


Have the uses of enzymes in industry and medicine been a benefit to society? Enzymes are biological catalysts and they speed up most chemical reactions without altering the final product. They are extremely important as without them most reactions in cells would be so slow that they would not really go ahead at all. Enzymes are proteins and they generally only work with one substrate. They work by providing an active site the same shape as the substrate molecules, they bind with the substrate and cause the reaction to speed up. At high temperatures (above 40�C) their reaction rates slow and above 60�C the reaction stops completely because they are deactivated by the heat (denatured). However usually an enzyme is not destroyed by the reaction it causes and can therefore be used again. (6) Enzymes have a great number of uses from food processing to helping with medical diagnoses and treatments - for example enzymes are present in biological detergents as they help break down stains and enzymes are also important in the fermentation process used to produce antibiotics. ...read more.


Also enzymes are used to remove wool from sheepskins preserving the wool which is of use. Here again enzymes are seen to have a positive environmental impact. (1) In cheese making the use of the genetically engineered enzyme Chymosin for the coagulation or setting of cheese has meant that cheese makers no longer need to rely on animal rennet taken from the stomachs of calves. This means that animal rights activists have less objection to this process of cheese making and also that some vegetarians can accept chymosin as an alternative to animal rennet. Chymosin is made by using bioengineering from calf cells, but some people do not agree with eating bio engineered foods. In some cases labelling is unclear and coagulating enzymes may be just called 'enzymes' or not mentioned at all on labels, making it difficult for consumers to tell what has been used in the processing of the cheese. (3) Many people may prefer not to buy cheese made using this process at all because there is not really enough understood about possible long term effects of using a genetically engineered enzyme, ...read more.


Many diabetics rely on these as a way of monitoring their own condition. (5) Another way enzymes are used is in the treatment of lactose intolerance, which is a condition where people cannot tolerate milk or dairy products and usually develops with age. These people can be treated with lactase supplements to help the digest lactose by converting it into glucose and therefore reduce stomach upsets. (2) In conclusion enzymes are now widely used in industry and in medicine for both diagnosis and treatment. In many cases in industry enzymes have replaced the need for less environmentally friendly products or procedures and have therefore made a significant contribution to the preservation of the environment, for example the energy savings from use of biological washing powders. However the use of genetically modified enzymes in the food industry is seen by some as unknown territory in terms of the future implications for human health. In medicine enzymes are important in the treatment and diagnosis of patients and their uses are continually expanding. It is clear that society has benefited in many ways from the uses of enzymes in industry and medicine. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does the concentration of enzymes affect the breakdown of starch by a-amylase in ...

    4 star(s)

    on one agar plate the enzyme will have much more starch agar to break down than on the other plate. This means the two results obtained for the same concentration of enzyme will be very varied, making the results false and unusable.

  2. Uses Of Enzymes in Medicine and Industry

    A biosensor is a device used to detect specific molecules. The device uses a biological system for example a certain enzyme to detect this molecule.

  1. Spreadsheet report

    Drinks 800 367 433 �71.93 INSTOCK Popcorn 400 190 210 �38.00 INSTOCK Posters 350 165 185 �66.00 INSTOCK sparklers 200 78 122 �20.28 INSTOCK Sweets 900 409 491 �130.88 INSTOCK T-shirts 250 75 175 �90.00 INSTOCK Albums 900 409 491 �752.56 INSTOCK Singles 200 87 113 �65.77 INSTOCK Jewellery 140 52 88 �41.60 INSTOCK Max �752.56 Week 4 Item No.

  2. Use of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

    This treatment is called "bating". In the textile industry, enzymes are used for the finishing of fabric and clothes. As cellulose is the main component in cotton and other natural fibres, the application of the cellulase enzyme can remove rough protuberances giving a smoother, glossier brighter coloured fabric.

  1. The Application of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine.

    Enzyme inhibitors slow down the rate of reaction. Competitive inhibitors have a similar shape to the substrate and compete for the active site, so reduces the bonding for the reaction to take place because the inhibitor occupies the active site. The only way this can be overcome is to add more substrate to increase the chance of a substrate occupying the active site.

  2. Enzymes uses in industry and medicine bio cw

    The optimum pH level of these enzymes is 4.0-4.5. This is important as if you know the optimum rate the enzyme functions quicker and then more of the product needed will be made quicker and therefore be able to be sold sooner. Research in Italy in 2002 on rats shows that damaged nerve cells in their brain can grow

  1. The Uses of Enzymes in Industry

    The yeast that is added produces carbon dioxide from simple sugars, which makes the bread rise. However, the quality of wheat flour varies due to natural variation, the time of year it is picked, disparities in milling, and many other inconsistencies.

  2. Uses of enzymes In industry and Medicine

    the amino acids in the protein, and so depends on what the sequence of amino acids is. There are three kinds of bonds involved, these are weak hydrogen bonds, rather strong ionic bonds that have a positive or negative charge and sulphur bridges which are strong covalent bonds.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work