A Scientific Study of the Lactase Enzyme Essay

A Scientific Study of the Lactase Enzyme Essay

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Section 1: Introduction
Enzymes are proteins that are used to accelerate bio chemical reactions. Enzymes can only react with what is called a substrate. This is because the enzyme has a specific working property, such as having a distinct shape that only allows a perfect fit of a substrate. This substrate locks itself to the enzyme and produces a product.
Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, a milk disaccharide of galactose and glucose. Lactase can only be found inside the inner walls of the small intestine. Some people stop making lactase after a certain age, the person then becomes lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerant is when a person is unable to break down the sugar molecules of milk, with symptoms that include bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.
The purpose of the experiment is to test the specificity of the enzyme lactase. To test the specificity we used lactose and sucrose and checked for glucose in the solution. The next procedure in our experiment is to test for pH and environmental factors and their effects on lactase. We then tested lactase with lactose in contrasting environments and temperatures. The prediction made for specificity was that lactase was only specific to lactose. We also concluded that sucrose and lactose as well as sucrose and water solution would be the highest concentration for glucose.
For the second experiment we predicted that pH 7 would be optimal for lactase function. For the third experiment we predicted that 25°C with milk and lactase would contain the highest glucose concentration, this is because they are close to the natural environment of the lactase in which enzymes function.
Section 2: Materials and Methods
A. Lactase Enzyme Specificity:
The materials used for this lab includes...


... middle of paper ...


...is gives them symptoms such as diarrhea or bloating.
For future experiments we can possibly try and test the levels of lactase with the pH rank from 10-14, doing this we can see if there is any significant difference. Such as having a higher base resulting in a higher concentration in glucose. Or predict if the only pH that works best would be the pH 10 that we used. It would also be interesting to test or prove that there are enzymes that don’t work as well as others or if there can be a difference in the substrate.






Section 5: References
Role of Enzymes in Biochemical Reactions. (Ophardt 2003). Retrieved November 3, 2013 from virtual chembook online www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/570enzymes.html
A. Zebboudj, personal communications from Inquiry into life (13th ed.), October 16, 2013
Mader, S. S. (2012). Inquiry into life (13th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill

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