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The aim of this experiment is to learn what happens when starch is mixed with amylase. I also intend to investigate the effects of changing one or more of the variables involved in the experiment.

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Introduction

Science Coursework Planning... Aim: The aim of this experiment is to learn what happens when starch is mixed with amylase. I also intend to investigate the effects of changing one or more of the variables involved in the experiment. Key Factors: Listed below are each of the key factors featured in the experiment and the affect that each one may have upon the investigation... Temperature: The temperature of the room when the experiment is being carried out will determine the rate at which the amylase works since amylase is most efficient at body temperature, which is between 37-40?C, and less effective in more extreme conditions. This is because amylase is an enzyme, which is found inside the body; therefore it is necessary for it to be most effective in these conditions. PH Level: The optimum pH level for Amylase is approximately pH 7.5. This is the pH level of human saliva, which is the substance which amylase is found in. Saliva is a neutral substance; therefore amylase is most efficient in these conditions and may become less efficient in more acid or alkaline circumstances. Amount of Starch: The amount of starch present during the experiment is important, since the larger the amount of starch there is, the faster the amylase will break it down. This is because amylase is an enzyme, which is designed to breakdown large quantities of starch since it will usually have to handle large amounts of foods in the mouth, which contain starch. ...read more.

Middle

Safety: To ensure that the experiment is a safe one I will wear an apron and especially wear goggles when handling the iodine since it is potentially dangerous irritant. I will ensure that I am behaving sensibly around the Bunsen burner and other dangerous apparatus and I will endeavour to act sensibly at all times during the course of the experiment. Diagram: Below is a diagram of the equipment that I will use, as it will be set out during the experiment... Observations: As I was carrying out the experiment I made several observations and had to make several changes regarding the way in which I carried out the experiment. The first and most important of which is that I chose not to heat my starch solution using a Bunsen burner and instead opted to use a heated water bath since this was easier to maintain at a certain temperature and generally easier to control. The change that I made was in the timing between the addition of the starch solution to the iodine, instead of adding it every 30 seconds as I had written in my plan I chose to do it at 20 second intervals since this gave me better results. I discovered this when I first began the experiment and I found that the results that I was getting were not particularly useful since the amylase was not acting on the starch quick enough. ...read more.

Conclusion

I made sure that the test was a fair one by using the same amount of starch solution and amylase enzyme every time and ensuring that the temperature of the solution was correct to the planning. The range for my independent variable was 0 - 60�C, I believe that this was sufficient since it provided me with evidence that the optimum temperature that the enzyme worked at was body temperature and also showed that it wasn't as effective at the higher or lower temperatures. The interval for the independent variable was 10�C. Improvements - There are a number of changes that I feel are necessary to improve the experiment, the fist being to repeat the investigation several more times to ensure that the curves and gradients that I find on the graphs and correct and not anomalous. The second change I would make would be to gather more results within the range especially around the body temperature, since this would provide more precise results and find out more accurately what the optimum temperature that amylase works out is. I would also have chosen to use a digital thermometer and do not rely on the human eye to take the reading and would therefore provide more accurate results. Validity - I believe that the investigation that I have carried out was a valid one since the variables that I have chosen tested the aim very well. I do not think that I would have collected such good results had I not use the variables that I did. Christopher Beeton 27/04/07 Pg. 1 ...read more.

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