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The Application of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

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  • Essay length: 2948 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level Molecules & Cells

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The Application of Enzymes in Industry and Medicine

The use of enzymes in the diagnosis of disease is one of the important benefits derived from the intensive research in biochemistry since the 1940's. Enzymes have provided the basis for the field of clinical chemistry. It is, however, only within the recent past few decades that interest in diagnostic enzymology has multiplied. Many methods currently on record in the literature are not in wide use, and there are still large areas of medical research in which the diagnostic potential of enzyme reactions has not been explored at all. Enzymes are also used widely in industry in a variety of aspects ranging from use in the textile industry to the food industry.

All known enzymes are proteins. They are high molecular weight compounds made up principally of chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. See Figure 1. (www.worthington-biochem.com)

One of the properties of enzymes that make them so important as diagnostic and research tools is the specificity they exhibit relative to the reactions they catalyse. A few enzymes exhibit absolute specificity; that is, they will catalyse only one particular reaction. Other enzymes will be specific for

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