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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Enzymes in Medicine and Industry

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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Enzymes in Medicine and Industry What is an enzyme? In relative terms enzymes are biological catalysts; control the rate of chemical reaction, different temperatures and pH's affect their optimum rate of reaction in living organisms. In detail; enzymes are globular proteins, which catalyse chemical reactions in living organisms, they are produced by living cells - each cell has hundreds of enzymes. Cells can never run out of enzymes as they or used up in a reaction. Enzymes work by lowering the activation energy required by molecules to start the reaction off. Enzymes also react (reversibly) with substrates (The molecule(s) that the enzyme is catalysing) this is done by forming Enzyme-substrate complex, which is then broken down into products. As well as being affected by temperature and pH enzymes optimum rate of reaction is also changed by competitive and non competitive inhibitors. Competitive inhibitors inhibit the enzyme so that enzyme-substrate complex's cant form until it's unblocked or there is a change in concentration in substrate, this means it takes longer to reach the optimum rate of reaction. ...read more.


The leakage of enzymes into bloodstreams can easily be picked from blood tests meaning that doctors can find the root of the problem without having to do various tests and scans, to find out where the problem actually is. Most genetic diseases are caused by an enzyme deficiency this in turn can be fixed by therapeutic enzymes, which replaces the enzymes, there by relieving some of the symptoms of a disease for a period of time. Antibiotics contain enzymes which break down and destroy bacteria in organisms. However some bacteria will be resistant to the antibiotics used (possibly due to their enzymes acting as a non competitive inhibitor to the antibiotics enzymes) and will survive and duplicate meaning that the antibiotics used before will have no affect on this bacteria. This might lead to a different kind of antibiotic being used and the same thing happening as before or even worse there will be no antibiotics to get rid of this bacteria. ...read more.


left in the final product and written off, meaning the industry has to buy a new enzyme for more stock, this can be expensive B) the enzyme is removed from the product and used again, this process depending on the enzyme can also cost a lot of money. People have been known to suffer from allergic reactions due to enzymes in products. For example enzymes that have been put in biological detergents will react with stains on clothes; the enzyme will be left on the clothes and say if the person wearing the clothes that have been washed is allergic to that particular enzyme than he/she will suffer from an allergic reaction, possibly leading to death. In medicine microbes which have increased function due to their enzymes could prove to be dangerous to organisms especially since antibiotics will fail to work against them. Conclusion In medicine, enzymes can work with organisms (antibiotics, enzyme leakages) and against us (bacteria). However in industry enzymes are used for a different application, so that it could save the industry money over time or gain more money as a result of enzymes improving the image of its products. ...read more.

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To improve this piece of work advantages and disadvantages relevant to medicine and industry would be better included in those sections since on the whole they are different.

General statements need to be backed up with specific examples, preferably explaining why enzyme use is advantageous (or not).

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 08/01/2013

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