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Enzyme Activity Aim To investigate enzyme activity by testing for changes in a starch solution when the enzyme amylase is added and how this reaction is affected by heat pH ratios etc Background of Enzymes Enzymes are biological catalysts produced by living cells Like all catalysts they greatly speed up all the processes that go on inside living organisms A single cell may contain 100000 different enzymes which are needed to take part in its 1000 to 2000 chemical reactions For example digestive enzymes break down food into simpler substances Many enzymes work in the opposite way linking simple substances together to form larger more complex ones needed to build up tissues Enzymes themselves are made of protein and each one has a differently shaped active site where the reaction takes place It is this shape which dedicates it to a particular chemical reaction This can be described as a lock and key system whereby the two substances to be linked the keys fit into the enzyme the lock Only the correctly shaped substances can fit into the lock Enzymes work best at different temperatures which is one of the reasons our bodies are kept at a constant temperature If there is a change in temperature the enzymes are less if at all effective A fall in temperature results in a lack of energy slowing the reaction down a rise and the active site is warped out of shape by the heat Diagram of enzyme activity 1One substance and 2Substance fits into enzyme 3Two separate an enzyme and is broken down substances are released The bonding of substances works in the opposite direction two substances and an enzyme the substances fit into the active site and are joined together one new substance is released Variables In
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