Project Summary

This experiment investigates a major step towards the cure to Alzheimer’s. Previous research states that an increase in the amount of oxygen going to the brain could possibly delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Catalase is an enzyme which normally helps to prevent the kind of damage seen in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease by producing oxygen from hydrogen peroxide. This peroxidase, Catalase, can be found in a variety of foods such as potatoes and apples. This study tests the effect of Copper ions and Iron ions on the ability of the Catalase enzyme to produce oxygen efficiently from the substrate, hydrogen peroxide. In addition, the effect of temperature on the ability of the enzyme to produce oxygen efficiently was tested at 22° C and 30° C. Thirty trials for each temperature and metal ion were performed. The results were recorded by calculating the percentage of absorbance of 560 nm spectrum (which reflects the amount of oxygen produced) using a colorimeter. The data collected in this study leads to the conclusion that the Catalase enzyme helped speed up the process of producing oxygen most efficiently at a temperature of 30° C. The effectiveness of Catalase is hastened further when Iron Ions or Copper Ions are present. Thus, the inclusion of metals and higher temperature are critical for Catalase to produce oxygen efficiently. From this study, it may be concluded that the intake of foods containing Iron and Copper such as spinach and nuts respectively can help Catalase delay the on-set of Alzheimer’s.

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