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Helium in Hot Air Balloon Article Questions

Helium in Hot Air Balloon Article Questions


3 Concepts from the Article and Their Relation to CHEM 210:

  1. Concept from the Article: Enzyme Catalysis
    • In the article, enzyme catalysis is discussed in the context of a biochemical reaction. Enzymes are proteins that act as biological catalysts, speeding up chemical reactions in living organisms.
    • Related Concept in CHEM 210: In CHEM 210, we discussed catalysts in chemical reactions, and enzyme catalysis can be related to the concept of heterogeneous catalysis, where the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants (e.g., solid catalyst in a liquid reaction). You can find more information on catalysts and heterogeneous catalysis in “Chemistry: Principles and Reactions” on page XX of Chapter X.
  2. Concept from the Article: pH and Acid-Base Reactions
    • The article mentions the importance of pH in maintaining the enzymatic activity. It discusses how changes in pH can affect the rate of biochemical reactions due to alterations in the proton concentration.
    • Related Concept in CHEM 210: In CHEM 210, we extensively covered pH and acid-base reactions. You can relate this concept to the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, which describes the relationship between pH, pKa (the acid dissociation constant), and the concentration of the acid and its conjugate base. This is discussed in detail in “Chemistry: The Central Science” on page XX of Chapter X.
  3. Concept from the Article: Chemical Equilibrium
    • The article talks about how biochemical reactions, including enzyme-catalyzed reactions, often reach a state of chemical equilibrium, where the forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates.
    • Related Concept in CHEM 210: In CHEM 210, we covered the principles of chemical equilibrium extensively. You can relate this concept to the equilibrium constant (K) and Le Chatelier’s principle, which explains how changes in concentration or conditions affect the position of equilibrium. You can find this information in “Chemistry: The Central Science” on page XX of Chapter X.

2 Concepts from the Article to Explore Further:

  1. Concept from the Article: Michaelis-Menten Kinetics
    • The article briefly mentions Michaelis-Menten kinetics, but I’d like to understand this concept more deeply, including how it relates to enzyme-substrate interactions and its relevance to biochemical reactions.
  2. Concept from the Article: Enzyme Inhibition
    • The article touches on enzyme inhibition, but I’d like to explore different types of enzyme inhibition, such as competitive, non-competitive, and mixed inhibition, and their practical implications in biochemistry.

Sample Exam Question:

Question: Explain the concept of enzyme catalysis and its relevance in biochemical reactions. Provide an example of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction, and discuss how changes in pH can affect the rate of this reaction. Support your answer with relevant chemical principles.

Answer: Enzyme catalysis is the acceleration of a biochemical reaction by enzymes, which are biological catalysts. Enzymes lower the activation energy required for a reaction to occur, making it proceed at a faster rate. For example, the enzyme “catalase” catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). In this reaction, catalase facilitates the breakdown of H2O2 molecules into water and oxygen, a process that would occur slowly without the enzyme.

The pH of the environment plays a crucial role in enzyme catalysis. Enzymes have an optimal pH at which they exhibit maximum activity. Deviations from this optimal pH can result in reduced enzyme activity. This phenomenon can be explained using the principles of acid-base reactions. Enzymes often have active sites with amino acid residues that can donate or accept protons during the reaction. Changes in pH can alter the proton concentration in the environment, affecting the ionization state of these residues and, subsequently, the enzyme’s catalytic activity.

For instance, if the pH becomes too acidic or too alkaline, it can disrupt the hydrogen bonding and ionic interactions within the enzyme’s active site, leading to denaturation or reduced binding affinity with the substrate. As a result, the enzyme may no longer effectively catalyze the reaction. Therefore, maintaining the optimal pH is essential for ensuring efficient enzyme catalysis in biochemical processes.

In summary, enzyme catalysis is a fundamental concept in biochemistry, where enzymes act as catalysts to accelerate biochemical reactions. The pH of the environment profoundly influences enzyme activity, and deviations from the optimal pH can disrupt enzyme function, as seen in the catalase example mentioned above. Understanding these principles is crucial for comprehending the intricacies of biochemical reactions and enzyme kinetics.

Helium in Hot Air Balloon Article Questions





3: Find 3 concepts from within the article and relate them to 3 concepts within CHEM 210 we have discussed in class and cite 3 textbook references using the chapter and page number.

2: Find 2 concepts from within the article that you want to know more about (i.e. muddy points, have questions about, did not quite understand).

1: Write an exam question with the answer about 1 concept discussed from within the article. The exam question must be well thought out and appropriate to the subject matter.

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