Enzymes

This week we expanded on enzymes. We were introduced to them last week but didn’t go in to detail about how they functioned. To start this unite, we watched the Bozeman video about active sites and substrates. It was very helpful. Sadly I couldn’t find a Big Idea that fit.

The activity of the week involved the students being the enzymes and breaking the substrates (toothpicks). We put 100 toothpicks in a bowl and would time for 10 seconds and see how many toothpicks one person could blindly break. After 10 seconds we would leave the broken ones in the bowl and do it again until we reached a minute. Then we did a second test with two people breaking toothpicks in the same bowl. We learned from this that the more enzymes there are, the more substrates can be broken. It’s like if there where a bunch of people (substrates) trying to go through doors (enzymes), the more doors you have the more people can go through them at a faster rate but if you have a lot of people and not many doors there are build ups and its slower or people get stuck. So when there are more substrates the enzymes are overwhelmed and less productive but when its flipped around they are faster because they don’t have as many substrates to worry about.

This week felt better than most weeks. I feel like I understood more than last week and hopefully I can continue to understand and grasp ideas the first time around. I think what helped me this week more than anything was the Bozeman video. When we watch the videos and do the worksheets with them I feel like I have a better understanding then when we read chapters in the book. It’s always a nice way to start the week. The only thing I still don’t super understand is how temperature affects proteins and enzymes. I understand that heat makes them denature because they loose their structure but I don’t understand why that happens. If you understand better than I do please let me know.

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One thought on “Enzymes

  1. both temp and pH mess with the hydrogen bonds that hold a protein in its structure. Really high temps will overexcite the hydrogen bonds and cause them to destabilize, so the protein will unravel. Idk how pH does it, but I know it also screws with those hydrogen bonds.

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