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The Application Of Enzymes In Industry And Medicine.

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The Application Of Enzymes In Industry And Medicine Enzymes are used in many different ways in industry and in medicine. They are used because they can catalyse specific reactions at relatively low temperatures and they are cheaper than man-made catalysts, as well as being more versatile. One of the most well known uses of enzymes is in the laundry industry. The first enzyme detergent was manufactured in 1913 by Dr Otto Rohn. It consisted of sodium carbonate and trypsin. It was not very effective due to the sodium carbonate making the solution very alkaline, thus reducing the activity of the enzyme. In 1963, Novo Industries used fermenters to produce a protease enzyme from Bacillus Licheniforms. This enzyme was active and stable in alkaline conditions and so was used in the first effective "biological" washing powder. (3) The main enzyme in modern biological laundry detergents is protease. Protease breaks down protein stains, such as grass, blood and human sweat. Also in biological detergents lipase and amylase are included. ...read more.


ELISA involves the preparation of an antibody to the substance and the enzyme to which the antibody binds. The presence of a substance can be measured accurately as a result of colour changes that occur following a reaction between the antibody and the enzyme in the presence of the substance. In the blood sugar level test, the strips of paper contain glucose oxidase. When a drop of blood is added to the strip, the glucose oxidase metabolises the glucose in the blood and a series of reactions produce a measurable colour change that is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood. The pregnancy test is testing for the hormone HCG which is in the urine of pregnant women. (1) A possible use of enzymes in medicine in the future may be to help "mend" damaged brain cells and nerves in humans. Research in Italy in 2002 on rats shows that damaged nerve cells in their brain can grow new connections with the help of an enzyme known as chondroitinase ABC. ...read more.


Tests are now being done on rats with a condition known as "lazy eye". The lead researcher working on the project said, "This is the beginning of a big story, but it's just the beginning. For medicines similar to this enzyme to reach clinical applications we need to examine the effects on animals closer to humans. It will take some years to do this." This research may one day lead to medicines that help people recover from brain and spinal cord damage. (5) Enzymes are also used in many other ways in industry and in medicine. In industry, enzymes are used in everyday products unknown to most people. They are used in: * Dairy industry - blue cheeses are ripened by lipases * Brewing industry - enzymes are used to brew beer * Baking industry - yeast used in bread making contains enzymes * Leather industry - trypsin is used to make the leather more pliable * Chocolate industry - enzymes are used to create soft centres in chocolates Enzymes also have many more medical uses, which include: * Drug manufacture * Anti-flammatory reagents * Wound therapy Overall enzymes are very useful and without them many everyday products and items would never exist. ...read more.

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