Biochemistry (Essential Chemistry) by Monique Laberge

By Monique Laberge

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Temperature Enzymes have an optimum temperature at which they work fastest. For most enzymes, this is about 40° Celsius (104° Fahrenheit), but there are enzymes that work best at very different temperatures, such as the enzymes of the arctic snow flea that work at −10°C (14°F). If the temperature is too high, enzymes are destroyed—a process called denaturation. The heat breaks the H bonds holding the secondary and tertiary structure of the enzyme together, and therefore the enzyme and its active site lose their shape.

The chromosomes are about 100,000 times shorter than fully stretched DNA, and therefore are 100,000 times thicker, so they are big enough to be seen with a light microscope. 7 Chromosomes, which are found in the nucleus, contain DNA. When chromatin coils up tightly after DNA replication, it forms chromosomes. In a cell that is reproducing, the chromosomes are found in pairs, with each chromosome of a pair containing one of the replicated copies of the ­DNA. 8 The RNA molecule’s structure is similar to the structure of DNA, except that its fourth base is uracil instead of thymine, its sugar group is ribose instead of deoxyribose, and it is composed of a single strand instead of two.

It also protects mucous membranes from infection and is needed for normal vision and healthy skin and hair. Foods rich in vitamin A include milk, carrots, egg yolks, and spinach. Vitamin D, found in milk, beef, and sardines, helps the body absorb calcium to strengthen bones and teeth. Vitamin E, found in nuts, oils, and green leafy vegetables, protects cells from damage and also helps wound healing. Vitamin K, also found in some oils and green leafy vegetables, is needed for proper bone growth and is essential for the normal clotting of blood.

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