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What Factors Affect How Fast Enzymes Work?

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What Factors Affect How Fast Enzymes Work? For this investigation, I will be finding out how the temperature affects the rate of reaction in enzymes. The enzyme I will be testing is Amylase, which breaks down starch molecules into sugar molecules. All enzymes are proteins; they have an active site, which the substrate (which in this case is starch) fits into. The more you heat an enzyme, the quicker it works. This is because heat gives molecules energy so they work faster. They move around quicker and are more likely to bump into each other. At temperatures above 60�c, the enzyme structure will begin to fall apart. It denatures, and the active site disappears. When this happens, the enzyme will not function at all. The temperature at which the reaction works fastest is called the optimum temperature. For most enzymes in the human body, this is around 40�c. Other factors like the pH and the concentration of the enzyme will affect the rate of reaction too. ...read more.


For this I will: * Measure and pour 2cm� of Amylase into a test tube. Measuring will be done using a syringe. * Measure and pour 3cm� of Starch into another test tube, and add 3 drops of iodine. A blue/black colour should develop. * Heat-treat the Amylase first for 1 minute in a warm water bath. * Add the contents of both test tubes together, and place in a water bath. Begin timing. Record the temperature of the water bath at that moment. * The blue/black colour should begin to disappear and leave a clear solution in the test tube. This will be the control of the experiment. When this has happened, stop timing immediately and record results. For my experiment, I will have to modify the pilot experiment in a number of ways. Since I have decided to invest how different temperatures affect the rate of reaction, I will have to modify the temperatures of the water baths to get a broad range of results. ...read more.


From plotting the results onto my graph and adding a line of best fit, we can pick out a trend. Between 0-59�c, the rate of reaction dramatically increases as the temperature increases. Between 59�c and 80�c, the reaction slows down dramatically. From 80�c and above however the reaction only slows down by around 2-3 seconds every 10�c more. This suggests that almost all the enzyme has denatured at around 80�c. I do think the experiment worked well, however I think that because I only did 5 temperatures my results may not be as accurate as they could be. When drawing my line of best fit, there were only five spaced out points to go through. I decided to conduct the experiment at 10�c intervals instead of 5�c intervals because there was not enough time. I also only conducted the experiment 3 times for each temperature to save time. I feel that with a broader range of results, my conclusion would have been much more accurate, and perhaps in future experiments I could take this on board. Additional work, which could be carried out, is to repeat the experiment using different pH levels, and a range of different starch solution concentrations. Vinesh Patel ...read more.

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