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Investigating Enzyme Activity

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Introduction

Investigating Enzyme Activity Enzymes exist in all living things. They are composed of polymers of amino acids and are produced in living cells. Each cell contains several hundred enzymes, which catalyse a vast number of chemical reactions. Enzymes are known as 'biological catalysts' as they dramatically increase the rate at which reactions occur within living organisms, without being 'used up' or effecting the reaction in any other way. Enzymes catalysis saves the need for an increase in temperature in order to speed up reactions within living things. Such an increase in temperature would be lethal to the organism. In this investigation I intend to explore the one of the factors that affect the rate of enzyme catalysis. My research from textbooks and the Internet suggests that this depends on several factors; temperature, pressure, pH and concentration. After research and careful consideration, I have decided to first look at how a change in temperature could affect the rate of reaction. In order to design a suitable experiment and make a credible prediction, I must first explore more closely how temperature is likely to affect the rate of catalysis. Enzymes are specific - they only control one type of reaction; therefore I must use one specific enzyme in my experiment, in order to find a clear way of measuring the rate of reaction. ...read more.

Middle

produced * A basin of water * Conical flask in which the reaction will take place * Bung and delivery tube Method To test my prediction I will heat the catalyse and hydrogen peroxide to a given temperature and allow them to react in the conical flask, by stirring the solution three times, starting the timer at the beginning of the reaction. The oxygen given off will pass through the delivery tube and bubble up into the test tube, which will be set full of water in a basin. I will allow the reaction to continue until the test tube full of water has been replaced by oxygen. The results will then be recorded in a table after the experiment has been conducted at a satisfactory amount of temperatures. My preliminary experiment suggests that suitable quantities to use would be 30cm� hydrogen peroxide and 5cm� of celery. I am now able to perform the experiment at a range of temperatures between 0� and 60�. My research suggests that most enzymes become denatured before 60�. Fair Testing To make sure this experiment is a fair test, the only factor I must vary must be temperature. This means that I have to keep the concentrations of the substance constant throughout the experiment. ...read more.

Conclusion

The accuracy of these measurements could be improved by the use of a burette instead of a measuring cylinder, as it is a more precise piece of equipment and there are fewer margins for error. Another source of error may have been in the water baths, as they were supposed to be set at fixed temperatures to heat up the substances. One had to be very careful that the substances did not exceed their planned temperatures of there was danger of denaturing. The experiment on the whole was a success, but it could be improved by the use of more accurate equipment and better organisation. Several assumptions had to be made in this experiment. When such assumptions are made, further work needs to be carried out to check these assumptions. I had to assume that all enzymes worked in the same way, but further work could be done with different enzymes and reactions to check this. Through the experiment, I measured the rate of reaction at 10� intervals. I think that further work should be done between 30� and 40� in an attempt to find the exact optimum temperature for the enzyme catalyse. Work between these temperatures would allow me to plot an accurate graph and explain the apparent slowing in the increase of the rate of reaction between these two temperatures in my current results. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE Biology Coursework Luke Hopwood 11B ...read more.

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