Essay On Salivary Amylase

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Enzymes are catalysts to help facilitate chemical reactions (RSC 2004). They do not cause the reaction to occur, but they speed up the rate of reaction (RSC 2004). Each enzyme is a specific protein, meaning they work for the purpose of a particular reaction or substance (EUFIC 2016). This can help explain why they are essential in the role of digestion. The particular enzyme that we looked at in this experiment was salivary amylase. Salivary amylase is an enzyme that helps with the breakdown of carbohydrates, specifically starch (Tracey et al. 2016) and works in the mouth (VanPutte et al. 2014). Salivary amylase works to hydrolyze the – 1, 4 –glycosidic linkages between the maltose and glucose monosaccharides in starch (Tracey et al. 2016). …show more content…
However a lot of work has been done to look at how saliva is produced, including some of its benefits such as preventing dental caries (Dawes 1970). Some studies have also looked at how the changes in salivary amylase can correlate to stress levels in an individual (Douglas et al. 2007). The main research that has been conducted to look at the relationship between salivary amylase and ancestral diet is a paper by Perry and his colleagues titled, “Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation”. This is where the purpose for this experiment comes from. We wanted to replicate this paper on a smaller scale and see if we could observe similar …show more content…
The independent variable in this experiment was the AMY1A gene copy number (which was dependent upon the ancestral diet). This was obtained through pipetting a DNA sample into a well in a gel electrophoresis apparatus. After running the sample under UV light, the AMY1A and actin gene were measured with the use of the Bio-Rad Imaging Software. The dependent variable in this experiment was the salivary amylase concentration. The salivary amylase concentration was obtained through various procedures including, PCR reactions to amplify the DNA, measuring wave frequency of a DNA sample using a spectrophotometer, and calculated calibration curves. There were also controlled variables, including the amount of substances we would mix together, or the amount of PCR cycles the DNA samples underwent to amplify the DNA. Having controlled variables helps ensure there is less variability in the DNA samples that are being

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