Understanding Enzymes and the Factors that Affect Them

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RUNNING HEAD: Understanding Enzymes

Understanding Enzymes
Amanda Chung
Blanche Ely High School

Abstract
The researcher conducted this experiment in order to investigate how various factors effected enzymes. Those factors were the concentration of the enzyme, the temperature it had to work in, and the pH level of the solutions as well. All three were hypothesized to speed up the rate at which the enzyme acted. A series of several tests were carried out to find the answer to each problem. First, the scientist witnessed the enzyme diastase work in a natural environment, which was a room temperature starch solution. Five trials involving enzyme and starch solution were carried out using increasing amounts of diastase to test the effect of concentration. Cold, room temperature, body temperature, and hot enzyme solutions were timed and observed to find out what effect temperature had on the reactions. To see how pH level effected enzyme reactions, the researcher used hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and distilled water to create solutions. The data recorded from the investigations were very useful in helping the scientist gain an understanding of how enzymes work and how some factors can either aid or hinder their processes.

Table of Content
Introduction……………………………………………………………………………..pg. 4 Materials and Method………………………………………………………………….pg. 10 Results….........................................................................................................................pg. 13 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………...pg. 15 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..pg. 19 Appendix………………………………………………………………………………pg. 20 References……………………………………………………………………………...pg. 00 Introduction

This investigation was carried out in order for the researcher to gain an understanding of enzymes in how they work, and the relative speed at which they carry out their processes. Before it was conducted, the scientist had very limited knowledge of the proteins, so this was a good way to find out about them first hand. Gaining an understanding of enzymes is very important, because they are so significant to the health of living things, from plants, to animals, to human beings. Their role in body is actually so necessary, that without them, it would be impossible to live. Besides gaining an understanding of the function enzymes carry out in the body, this experiment was also carried out so that the function of the commercially available enzyme solutions could be observed. Before starting the experiment, the researcher hypothesized that high concentrations of enzymes, exposure to high temperatures, and acidic pH levels would all increase the efficiency of enzyme activity. A large number of enzymes available would mean that more substances can be catalyzed at the same time. High temperatures speed up the rate that molecules move, so the enzymes would be able to reach more molecules at a time, and also speed up reaction. Also, acids have a low pH number and give off heat, so they may also speed up reaction time in the same way as temperature. The scientist also learned about the structure of enzymes, and how denaturation occurred. Such material is useful for scientists and biologists to know because they aid in the creation of drugs and medication that may help someone with health problems. The smallest structures of enzymes are amino acids. They are the nitrogen-containing basic building blocks of proteins, so they are used in the synthesis of many of them. A total of 20 of them exist in nature, unique only by their R groups. Eight of them are essential amino acids, meaning that they are not created in the body, but they are necessary, so they must be consumed to be acquired. They carry out significant functions from providing aid in building cells, RNA, and DNA, tissue repair, antibody formation, and helping muscle activity (Kimpel, 2000). They may come together in a process called dehydration synthesis, which means a loss of water,...
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