• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18

The effect of Electromagnetic Fields on Enzyme Activity

Extracts from this document...


THE EFFECTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS ON ENZYME ACTIVITY Silvia Panico Monday, September 17, 2001 Word count: 9661 AIM: To observe and determine the effects of an electromagnetic field of low frequency on enzyme activity THEORY / PREDICTION: An important topic which is very discussed in today's society is the effect of electromagnetic radiation or fields on the human body. A great amount of research has been done in this field all of which has ended up in conflicting results, and all wraps up to one conclusion: the evidence isn't enough to declare electromagnetic fields dangerous or beneficent to the human body. To further explore this area we will first need to observe the nature of electromagnetic fields and separately the one of enzymes to then decide the results of the two clashing together. The electromagnetic spectrum includes waves, or radiation, of all frequencies. The higher ones are properties of gamma rays and x-rays, these have also a very short wavelength, and they are know to be very dangerous to the human body because they are very penetrating and have enough power to knock electrons off their nuclear orbits and therefore cause damage at the cellular level, such as cancer and genetic mutations. Gamma rays are produced by radioactive substances while x-rays by an x-ray tube or a high-voltage diode valve. Going down the spectrum we encounter ultra- violet rays which in large amounts usually cause skin cancer and are hazardous to eyes. These are produced by very hot objects, for example the Sun or electric arcs in electric welding. Visible light is after the UV rays. This is the only part of the spectrum that human eyes can perceive and it includes all of the visible colors of the white light spectrum, going from violet, shortest wavelength, to red with the longest one. Infra-red rays follow right after. These are produced by any object whose temperature is above absolute zero (-273 C ). ...read more.


Most enzymes will function their best at a pH of 7 but some, such as those which are situated in the stomach and work in a more acidic environment, will have an optimum pH value of 2 or 3. This experiment will study four enzymes: catalase, bromalain, papain, actinidin. Catalase is a molecule found in a number of human organs and tissues, including the liver, where its job is to speed up the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide ( H2O2) into oxygen and water: 2H2O2 2H2O + O2 Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic by-product of metabolism, and its rapid conversion to water removes its toxicity. Bromalain, is found in the pineapple fruit, its function in the actual fruit is not known, but it has been discovered that this enzyme is able to brake the protein found in gelatin collagen which is a fibrous protein found also in bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, and skin. The other two enzymes, papain and actinidin are also found in fruits, the first one in papaya and the other in the kiwi fruit. Both of them have also been found to break up collagen. All of these enzymes were chosen because of their easy availability, in fact all of the fruits can be bought and liver can be also found in any grocery store. To create an electromagnetic field a CB radio was used. This is very much like a walkie-talkie which is able to work over longer distances, and is therefore more powerful. Most CB radios have more than one channel over which they can transmit or receive, the one used had in fact 12 channel, or frequencies. They use radio frequencies in the medium to high range. For this experiment the most powerful EMF transmitter was chosen, the most powerful would have been marine radios which can transmit over 25 W, but these are illegal to use on land, therefore the next most powerful transmitter would have been citizen band radios which use 5W. ...read more.


Yet the use of the three fruit enzymes also had an advantage. Because they are very similar enzymes and they all acted on the same protein collagen, we were able to make comparisons in between them and the effects the electromagnetic field had on them. This would have been hard to do if the enzymes, or their reactions, had nothing in common. Also the use of a CB radio made the experiments more realistic since these sorts of radios are very used especially in between truck drivers. Also by placing the reactions very close to the antenna, and by using a field with the maximum amount of strength which could be found and used, we could simulate long term effects in a much shorter amount of time. The results obtained of course were not enough to fulfill this research question, it in fact would require much more detailed studied. It would be interesting, in fact, to pursue this subject, which still requires a lot of work, by investigating more enzymes molecules. By doing this it could be seen which ones are positively affected, which ones are negatively affected, and which ones are not affected at all by electromagnetic fields. This would lead to a pattern that could be created by finding a common trait or property which links all of the molecules that, for example, are not affected by an EMF. This would require, though, a very meticulous study of every enzyme molecule, which would include such things as their amino acid structure, their active site and the reaction they catalyze. Also to expand this research different frequencies and field strength should be considered. It is important to remember that this topic is very delicate in the fact that many factors need to be taken in consideration when experimenting on this subject. And also that a question of this size may need years to be resolved especially because of the high controversy around it, the controversy that our society runs on electromagnetism and the possibility that this may harm us in any way possible is always tried to be eliminated. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Molecules & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Molecules & Cells essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of temperature on the enzyme Catalase.

    4 star(s)

    Enzymes also like certain working conditions, this includes a certain pH level. If the pH level is not correct for the enzyme it will not work. Enzymes work by binding their substrates (the reactant) to a specially shaped active site.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Factors effecting enzyme activity

    4 star(s)

    Higher concentrations cause more collisions between the molecules. With more molecules and collisions, enzymes are more likely to encounter molecules of reactant. However, if the concentration of substrate is too high, then the enzyme becomes saturated with substrate and then a higher concentration of substrate will not continue increasing the rate of reaction.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of temperature on catalase activity

    3 star(s)

    To ensure that this was measured precisely, 5ml syringes were used to accurately gauge to exact quantities. iv) Inhibition - Inhibitors compete with the substrate for the active sites of the enzyme (competitive inhibitors) or attach themselves to the enzyme, altering the shape of the active site so that the

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Effect of temperature on the enzyme pectinase in fruit juice production.

    3 star(s)

    PECTINASE- 60ml- I was given the chance to use ready-made Pectinase solution or to make my own Pectinase using Pectolase. I decided to make my own Pectinase solution because in my opinion, this would be fresher. WATER BATHS- To control the temperature.

  1. The effect of Copper Sulphate concentration on Catalase activity on Hydrogen Peroxide.

    1 M concentration Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Experiment 3 Average Standard Deviation Coefficient of variation Time (s) Volume (ml) Volume (ml) Volume (ml) Volume (ml) Volume (ml) % 30 11.0 10.5 9.5 10.3 0.8 7.4 60 12.5 11.5 11.0 11.7 0.8 6.5 90 13.0 13.0 12.5 12.8 0.3 2.2 120

  2. Investigate the effect of fruit variety on the extraction of fruit juice.

    Enzyme molecules have a complicated three-dimensional shape due to the particular way the amino acid chain that makes up the protein is folded. This tertiary protein structure gives the enzyme its catalytic ability. A few of the amino acids on the surface of the molecule fold inwards to make a

  1. Investigating the effects of Copper Sulphate on the action of Catalase Enzyme breaking down ...

    I will put 10 of these pieces into a conical flask, giving a total area of 60cm2. Using a syringe, I will then make up the various concentrations I require. This will be done by putting 28ml of hydrogen peroxide into a small beaker and then making up the other 2ml of water/copper sulphate using another syringe.

  2. Digestion Of Gelatin On Exposed Photographic Film.

    The photographic film turns clear as you can see in the diagram above. Aim My aim is to find the rate of reactions of the enzyme tripsin at different temperatures.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work