By Pauline Alderson, Martin Rowland

Revised in attention of alterations made within the ULEAC syllabus B for Biology and the improvement of the nationwide Curriculum for technology, this publication emphasizes the functions of Biology. it's been up-to-date all through with sections improved and extra to supply updated info.

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How low the temperature has to be for an enzyme to stop working varies a great deal. Most enzymes stop when the cytoplasm in a cell is frozen. However, there are some bacteria that can grow at -10°C, which is 10°C below freezing point: they are exceptional and must have some kind of antifreeze in their cytoplasm as well as enzymes that can still work at such a low temperature. Bacteria such as this, called psychrophilic (cold-loving), can survive in, and cause decay of, food in freezers. (ii) Too high a temperature High temperature affects the structure of proteins.

For a long time, therefore, enzymes were not used industrially on any scale. The breakthrough came in the late 1970s when it was discovered how to fix enzymes to the solid surfaces of plastics, cellulose fibres and even glass beads. When an enzyme has been used, for example to change starch to sugar, the sugar solution can be drained away leaving the enzyme stuck to its support ready for the next batch of starch. Enzymes used in this way are called immobilised enzymes. The manufacturer uses the same immobilised enzyme again and again.

This is a form of asexual (not sexual) reproduction. Spore formation and dispersal are more obvious in another common fungus, Penicillium. 8 shows a Penicillium aerial hypha with chains of spores which separate and blow away in air as they dry out. The greeny-blue spores of Penicillium are also common in the air around us: masses of them can be seen as the greeny-blue mould that often forms on cheese. In the practical work at the end of this Unit you will be able to grow Rhizopus and measure the rate of its growth.

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