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Osmosis is the passage of water from a region of high water

  1. Oct 13, 2004 #1
    Osmosis is the passage of water from a region of high water concentration through a semi-permeable membrane to a region of low water concentration.
    .My question is why high water potential flows water to low water potential. What makes this occurs ?

    Also, does enzyme still works after being denatured. For an example, amylase is turn starch to maltose. After amylase is denatured, can it still react with other substances( i know it cannot react with starch)?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2004 #2

    matthyaouw

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    Osmosis is a due to net movement. The water molecules move randomly in all directions, and so if you put a semi permeable membrane in the way, the water will move back and forth through it. If the concentrations are equal, as much water will be moving from lets say left to right through the membrane as will be moving right to left, so there is no net gain. If the water on one side of the membrane is impure, it will have less water molecules per unit of volume, an so less that can travel through the membrane. This results in more water entereing from the side with higher water potential than is leaving.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2004 #3
    No, emzymes are specific so cannot catalyse the hydrolysis of other saccharides. Also denaturation of enzymes means that the precise tertiary and quaternary shape has changed so the substrate cannot fit into the active site. However if enzymes are denatured by an acid / base (not temperature), I think (not sure though) there is a possibility of enzyme renaturation.
     
  5. Oct 13, 2004 #4

    matthyaouw

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    Enzymes are not 100% specific- this is how competative inhibitors work- they can occupy the same active site as the intended substrate and so reduce the rate of reaction.
     
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