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Are enzymes reusable?

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Quick Answer

Evidence collected by researchers suggests that some enzymes are reusable. Researchers collect, harvest or modify enzymes for conducting research and for different applications as needed.

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Researchers at Clemson University found a way of harvesting and reusing biologically active enzymes. The enzymes go through a purification process that involves seclusion from a compound mixture after establishing their function, composition and interactions. Targets placed on nanoparticles, such as food sources, act as bait to bind the enzymes. Researchers then freeze the enzymes in place and remove the particles. They believe this could be a valuable tool in cancer research.

In addition, international scientists have developed a new method of upgrading the properties of enzymes. The modified enzymes can help in disposing of toxic chemical substances that are not biodegradable. According to Nature Chemical Biology, the scientists use genetic modifications to help accelerate the functions of enzymes. The new method uses specialized computational expertise to modify access tunnels that connect the active sites of the enzymes with their surfaces, thus altering accessibility to the toxic substances. The enzymes function better and faster than their original counterparts.

In addition to degrading substances, this modification of the tunnels method can assist in biomedical, chemical and food application areas.

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