Essay on The Working of a Biological Catalyst: Catalase

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To investigate the working of a biological catalyst: catalase

The topic being investigated was the working of a biological catalyst. An enzyme is a protein that acts as a biological catalyst of chemical reactions and is capable of speeding chemical reactions. The shape of each enzyme is very precise and this gives the enzyme the ability to catalyze one specific reaction. Enzymes have a three dimensional shape, which is essential to the way it functions. In every enzyme there is a region called active site where a complementary substrate molecule binds with it. After this, and the enzyme is ready to bind with other molecules and the process repeats itself. However, enzymes require certain conditions to work effectively. Temperature, pH
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In contrast, in tube 3 where no manganese dioxide was added and a cube of liver was added to hydrogen peroxide, the rate of the reaction was slower. However, the reaction rate was faster than in tube 5 where the liver cube was boiled and denatured.
In tube 4, instead of a cube of liver, ground liver was added. Nevertheless, the results did not differ much from tube 3, which indicates that catalase in ground liver breaks down hydrogen peroxide at the same rate as in a cube of liver. However, the temperature of the H2O2 increased from 26 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius after the addition of liver.
In tube 6 a cube of liver from acidic conditions was added to hydrogen peroxide. An excess of H+ ions in an acidic solution led to bonding between the H+ ions and negative charges in the active site. These interactions prevented the binding process between the enzyme and its substrate molecule and slowed enzyme activity. The surplus of negative ions affected the enzyme in the same way. In tubes 6 and 7 where enzymes where influenced by acidic and basic pH solutions. The enzyme activity slowed down and oxygen bubbles escaped and created foam at a slow rate.
Temperature, pH and the concentration of substances all affect the rate at which enzymes function. The optimum temperature in which the reactions take place is about 37 degrees Celsius and any deviances from this affect the reaction rate as shown in Figure 1. As the temperature decreases from the optimum,
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