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Biochemistry: Week 1


Jan 26, 2011
Perry Local School District 4325 Manchester Avenue, Perry, OH 44081

Week 1 of the Science Enrichment Program covered biochemistry, the chemistry of the living world. The students learned about the same basic chemical compounds that plants, animals, and single-celled organisms all use to live their lives (e.g. DNA, enzymes). The students gained the awareness that many processes that they’ve already discussed in class (e.g. photosynthesis, digestion) and many chemical compounds familiar from their everyday lives (e.g. proteins, sugar) are studied in biochemistry. For the hands-on experiment, the students performed a biochemistry chemical reaction, the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch with the enzyme Amylase to generate maltose. Amylase performs the same function in human saliva to begin the digestion process of foods like potatoes, bread, crackers, and spaghetti. The students were able to discover the effect of both enzyme concentration and temperature on the rate of reaction. Lastly, we discussed the role of inhibiting enzyme function in the development of new medicines (e.g. cholesterol lowering medications, anti-inflammatories).


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