Home‎ > ‎Biology A‎ > ‎Unit 2--Biochemistry‎ > ‎

Toothpickase Lab (2/5/10)

Becca, Andy, Katia
Biology A
February 5, 2010



 

Toothpickase



Introduction

 

Purpose

    To understand how enzymes function using a simulation.

Question

1. How does the decrease in reactive substrate and increase in products affect the rate of enzyme's product formation?
2. How does enzyme concentration affect the rate of enzymes product formation?
3. How does temperature affect the rate of enzyme's product formation?
4. How does substrate concentration affect the rate of enzyme's product formation?

Background

Enzymes are forms of protein that regulate biochemical processes. They are created based on the recipes coded in DNA. Life without enzymes would not be possible because they are used to break down food, regulate hair color, etc.
 
  

Predicted Outcome

1. None (Question one is our control.)
2. We predicted that when Andy used two hands instead of one to break the toothpicks, she would break them faster than with just hand. Be believed this because two hands are faster than one.
3.We predicted that a medium temperature would be best for breaking the toothpicks. If Andy's hand was too hot, she would burn herself, and thus not be able to break toothpicks. If her hand was too cold, it would make her break the toothpicks slower(depending on just how cold her hands were.)
4.We predicted that the more toothpicks there were for Andy to break, the faster she would break them.

Hypothesis

1. None (Control)
2. If Andy uses two hands to break the toothpicks instead of one, she will break them faster.
3. If Andy's hands are too cold, she will not break the toothpicks as fast.
4. If Andy has more toothpicks to break, she will break more.

Methods and Materials

 

Materials   

  • Unbroken toothpicks (200-300 per group)-represent reactive substrate.
  • Broken toothpicks-represent product formation.
  • Container-represents area of organism where reaction occurs.
  • Timer
  • Paper Clips-represents solution
  • Pan of ice water-represents cold environment

Procedure

  • Form groups of three.
  • Follow procedures below related to questions 1-4.
  • Complete a lab report by using Google Docs, inviting interested parties, and following the lab report template. All sections are required.

 

For Question 1

1.     Place 200 toothpicks in a shallow container.  The toothpicks represent the reactive substrate in this reaction.

2.     Create a table for recording your data that includes time and number of products formed (toothpicks broken). Your time data should be collected every 20 seconds for a continuous period of five minutes.

3.     Assign one person to be the “enzyme”, aka toothpick breaker, one person to be the timer, and one person to be the recorder. The enzyme will snap toothpicks (substrate) in half using the pointer finger, thumb, and middle finger of one hand with his/her eyes closed.  Each broken toothpick (product) will be put back in the bowl.

4.     The timer will call out start and the recorder will tally the running total of products formed (toothpicks broken) at each 20 second interval until 15 data points are collected after 5 minutes.

5.     Graph your data and answer the related lab question.

 

For Question 2

1.     Remove the broken toothpicks (products) from the container and replace them so that you have 200 wooden toothpicks once again in the bowl.

2.     Repeat steps two through five from above, except this time the enzyme will double in concentration and use two hands to break the toothpicks.

 

For Question 3

1.     Remove the broken toothpicks (products) from the container and replace them so that you have 200 wooden toothpicks once again in the bowl.

2.     The simulated enzyme should soak his/her active site (hand) in ice water for a few minutes.

3.     Repeat steps two through five from above as soon as the enzyme pulls their active site out of the water.

 

For Question 4

1.     Remove the broken toothpicks (products) from the container and replace them so that you have 200 wooden toothpicks once again in the bowl.

2.     Place 100 paper clips in the container. The paper clips represent a solvent in which the substrate (toothpicks) are dissolved. Different concentrations of substrate are simulated by mixing different numbers of toothpicks in with the paper clips.

3.     For the first trial place 10 toothpicks in the container with the paper clips. Mix them up so that you have a homogeneous (evenly mixed) solution. The enzyme will be given 20 seconds to catalyze the reaction (break as many toothpicks as possible).

4.     Create a data table.

5.     Run the simulation and collect data.

6.     Remove the broken toothpicks and repeat with concentrations of 20, 30, 40, and 50 toothpicks.

7.     Graph your data and answer question number four.

 

Data and Conclusions

 

Observations

    Andy was sad that her hand was cold.
    It was painful for Andy to break the toothpicks.
    When Andy's hand was cold, she couldn't feel the toothpicks.
    Some of the toothpicks were thinner than the others.
    The toothpicks were generally the same.

Data Table

Click here to see data table
 

Graph

Click here to see graph

Discussion

 

Results

1. None. Andy broke 72 toothpicks.
2. Our hypothesis was right. Andy was able to break more toothpicks using two hands. Andy broke 96 toothpicks. This was the fastest of the tests.
3. Our hypothesis was wrong. Andy broke more toothpicks with less toothpicks. Andy broke 86 toothpicks.
4. Our hypothesis was right. Andy broke less toothpicks when her hands were cold. Andy broke 68 toothpicks. This was the slowest of the tests.

Conclusion

1. We concluded that we liked watching Andy break toothpicks. (Control Test.)
2. We concluded that with more enzymes (hands,) we could create more substrates (break more toothpicks.)
3. We concluded that the less substrates (toothpicks) there were to create (break,) the more products (broken toothpicks) there were.
4.We concluded that when the enzyme (Andy's hand) was cold, it created less products (she broke less toothpicks.)


 






Comments