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In this unit, students will need to know that many chemical reactions called metabolic reactions take place inside and around cells. Each of these reactions is catalysed by an enzyme. Students will learn the characteristic of enzymes such as they are made of proteins; they remain unchanged at the end of a reaction and can be easily denatured by temperature changes. Students will perform experiments to show the effect of temperature change on enzymatic reactions.

Learning Targets


  • Define the term catalyst as a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction and is not changed by the reaction
  • Define enzymes as proteins that function as biological catalysts
  • Investigate and describe the effect of changes in temperature and pH on enzyme activity
  • Explain enzyme action in terms of the ‘lock and key’ model
  • Explain the effect of changes in temperature and pH on enzyme activity
  • Describe the role of enzymes in the germination of seeds, and their uses in biological washing products and in the food industry (including pectinase and fruit juice)
  • Outline the use of microorganisms and fermenters to manufacture the antibiotic penicillin and enzymes for use in biological washing powders
  • Describe the role of the fungus Penicillium in the production of antibiotic penicillin

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