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How long does it take for the action of the enzyme 'amylase' (a type of carbohydrate) to break down the carbohydrate 'starch'?

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Introduction

Enzyme investigation by Alice Turner How long does it take for the action of the enzyme 'amylase' (a type of carbohydrate) to break down the carbohydrate 'starch'? Factors which may affect results: * Increase in temperature could change time taken for starch molecules to be broken up. * Quantity of enzyme: the more enzyme, the faster the starch will be broken up (the quicker the reaction). * Quantity of starch: the larger the quantity of starch, the more time it will take to be broken up. * The amount of times the procedure is repeated, resulting in fairer, more reliable results. Factor to be investigated: The temperature factor will be investigated. ...read more.

Middle

1. enzymes become hot, but no more than 37.5�C. The energised molecules and enzymes move around much faster with heat. 2. the temperature is more than 37.5�C! Procedure Key variable: temperature Measured variable: time taken for starch to be broken down. Controlled variable: quantity Salinity Equipment: 1 x ice bucket Lab temp Water baths (1x 50�C and 1x 60�C) Thermometer Stop watch Pipettes 1 ml Amylase to 5 ml starch Flow chart Attain temp Mix starch any amylase Start watch Every 15secs drop in amylase + starch in iodine Record data When the sample turns from black to transparent, it means that there is no starch left in the solution. (iodine turns black when starch is present) ...read more.

Conclusion

The reason for this amomalous result could be because the temp was not measured every 20 seconds exactly, and the mixture was given a tiny bit more extra time than the others. To test whether this result is really anomalous, the experiment must be repeated. Our main procedural problem was when our first attempt at the experiment failed (using 1ml amylase to 10 ml starch). This was because the starch amount was too much- the more starch, the more time it took for the reaction to occur. To research more in to this topic, other experiments could be done. Such as, does the enzyme reach a point that's so cold it simply won't react with the starch? Or, does the same curve appear in a graph of a different enzyme, such as protease or lipase. ...read more.

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This is a good overview of the investigation but there are several places where the inclusion of more detail would improve its quality. The author should try to use specific and correct scientific terminology more often.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 17/09/2013

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