An enzyme is a protein that speeds up or slows down a specific chemical reaction in an organism. A good rule of thumb is to remember that enzyme names end in “-ase”. This will help in identifying enzymes in further readings. Generally enzymes are catalysts. Hydrogen peroxide is a toxic chemical that is produced in many organisms during metabolism. Organisms must get rid of this toxin to survive. One reaction turns the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The enzyme that helps with this reaction is called catalase. This is found in both plants and animals. In this lab we will use potatoes as our catalase source. The reaction equation is: Catalase
2H2O2 2H2O + O2
Additional Information that May Help: "Hydrogen peroxide bubbles when it comes into contact with an enzyme called catalase. Most cells in the body contain catalase, so when the tissue is damaged the enzyme is released and becomes available to react with the peroxide. Catalase allows hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 to be broken down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). The bubbles you see when you pour oxygen on a cut are bubbles of oxygen gas. Blood, cells, and some bacteria (e.g., staphylococcus) contain catalase, but it is not found on the surface of your skin so pouring peroxide on unbroken skin will not cause bubbles to form. Also, because it is so reactive, hydrogen peroxide has a shelf life once it has been opened, so if you don't see bubbles form when peroxide is applied to an infected wound or bloody cut, there is a chance your peroxide is no longer active." http://chemistry.about.com/od/medicalhealth/f/Why-Does-Hydrogen-Peroxide-Bubble-On-A-Wound.htm Background:
* What is an enzyme? A catalyst? A chemical reaction? A metabolism? * What is hydrogen peroxide?
* Where is catalase found?
* When is catalase released?
* What are the bubbles evidence of? What are the bubbles made of? * What can happen to the enzymes when you...