Heyy!! so far the semester is going at fast paste….just hope I can keep up!
So , in one of the lectures sir just said…”ever wondered why people die from fevers ? ” We were doing enzymes and although we’ve learnt that enzymes are denatured by high temperatures, I’ve never quite related it to fevers and the human anatomy.
WHAT ARE ENZYMES?
Enzymes are biological catalyst that speed up chemical reactions in cells by lowering the activation energy through providing an alternative pathway.
Okay, so let’s get right into the ‘heat’ of things ….
As temperature increases the rate of the reaction also increase due to the collision frequency between the reacting molecules. This therefore is increasing the collision frequency between active site and substrate. The rate of reaction don’t keep increases infinitely, however, but enzyme reaches its optimum temperature and then it begins to denature through a cooperative process.
At denaturation the active site is losing it’s 3D shape. This is due to unfolding taking place at the active site because as the temperature is increasing the bonds holding the 3D shape is vibrating and after the enzyme reaches it’s optimum temperature the vibrations(kinetic energy) are soooo strong that the bonds are broken and the active site loses it’s shape and can no long react with substrates. The process is said to be coorporative because the enzymes are quickly unfolded.
The optimum temperature in humans is approximately 37 degrees Celsius, therefore when a person is ill and they get a fever of very high temperatures for too long the conditions are severe and fatal. This is because the individual’s enzymes are being denatured and and when these enzymes loses its structure and are unable to catalyze reactions in the body. The individual is at risk to death because the reactions within the body will be too slow to sustain the body’s and life’s demands.
Hence why for example when one goes to the doctor with a fever with high temperatures they give you an ice-bath.
Personally, I have experienced this when I was younger. Can’t remember too much of the incident, but I can vividly remember that I was very ill “roasting’ with fever as we trinis say and being placed in a bathtub with FREEZZZZING water.
I got better so that’s a plus… this ice -bath is used to lower the temperature and prevent enzymes from denaturing .
Just a little something from the enzymes topic, hope you all enjoyed.
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