Unanswered bonus question in biochem tutorial….WAHHHHHHH


So here this, a bonus question was given in biochem tutorial and no one couldn’t answer so I’m going to try to clear the foggy air.

Here’s the question; What makes the liquid centers in moulded chocolates? (eg., a lemon myrtle or violet cream where you bite into it and a “syruppy” centre runs out).

Here’s the answer; This is done is by the use of the enzyme invertase. Invertase is mixed with fondant, which is a solid, and that is used as the center and is enrobed in chocolate.  After a certain period of time, the enzyme will hydrolyze (split apart) the sucrose in the fondant into equal parts glucose and fructose (ie. invert sugar), which is liquid.

Wanna know how invertase work in the hydrolysis of sucrose….. here’s how:

Sucrose (what we know as household sugar) is actually two sugars joined together. The proper term for this is a disaccharide. Sucrose consists of a glucose and fructose molecule joined together. The systematic scientific name for sucrose is glucose-alpha-(1-2)-fructose. Other disaccharides include lactose (found in milk = galactose-beta(1-4)-glucose) and maltose (found in malt, due to the breakdown of starch by beta-amylase = glucose-alpha-(1-4)-glucose).  

The systematic name for invertase is beta-fructofuranosidase and the designated number is EC In the human body the enzyme that does the same function as invertase is called sucrase. The term “invertase” usually refers to enzyme from either fungal/bacterial or plant sources.


Invertase splits the bond between the two sugars by hydrolysis. Invertase belongs to a class of enzymes known as glycosidases. Some of these enzymes work by simply splitting the bond while others work by twisting the bond at the same time. These enzymes that twist the bond at the same time as splitting it result in one of the released sugars being in a slightly different configuration than when it started so that it is inverted from alpha to beta. I think invertase was the first enzyme where this was studied and so that it is why it was called invertase.

Here’s the link to the story; http://njsas.org/projects/light_polarization/answer45_invertase.htm


The truth and nothing but the truth…….. maybe


So, sitting in biochem class, learning about Carbohydrates and all i could think about is when will this lecture finish cause i need a Coca Cola….. Fuh real I was thinking about Health and which sugar is more healthier so i came across this reading and i wanna share it with you all. In all and all, the study reveals that glucose is the healthier sugar. Did you know that?

All Sugars Aren’t the Same: Glucose Is Better, Study Says

By Alice Park Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2009

Think that all sugars are the same? They may all taste sweet to the tongue, but it turns out your body can tell the difference between glucose, fructose and sucrose, and that one of these sugars is worse for your health than the others.

In the first detailed analysis comparing how our systems respond to glucose (which is made when the body breaks down starches such as carbohydrates) and fructose, (the type of sugar found naturally in fruits), researchers at the University of California Davis report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that consuming too much fructose can actually put you at greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes than ingesting similar amounts of glucose. In the study, 32 overweight or obese men and women were randomly assigned to drink 25% of their daily energy requirements in either fructose- or glucose-sweetened drinks. The researchers took pains to eliminate as many intruding factors as possible by asking the volunteers to commit to a 12-week program; for the first and last two weeks of the study, each subject lived at UCD’s Clinical and Translational Science Center, where they underwent rigorous blood tests to determine their insulin and lipid levels, among other metabolic measures.

Both groups gained similar amounts of weight by the end of the 12 weeks, but only the people drinking fructose-sweetened beverages with each meal showed signs of unhealthy changes in their liver function and fat deposits. In this group, the liver churned out more fat, while the subjects consuming similar amounts of glucose-sweetened drinks showed no such change. The fructose-drinking volunteers also were not as sensitive to insulin, the hormone released by the pancreas to capture and break down glucose in the blood and store it as fat. Insulin insensitivity is one of the first signs of diabetes. These subjects also gained more visceral fat, the dangerous kind that embeds itself between tissues in organs such as the heart and liver and secretes hormones and other chemicals that throw off the body’s normal metabolism, setting the stage for atherosclerosis and heart attack. “This suggests that in the same way that not all fats are the same, not all dietary carbohydrates are the same either,” says Peter Havel, professor of nutrition at the University of California Davis and lead author of the study.

But don’t expect to be able to exercise your new sugar-smarts at the grocery store quite yet. Most of the sugar we encounter in products and in restaurants isn’t glucose, but rather high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, each a combination of glucose and fructose (sucrose is an even 50-50 split between the two, while high fructose corn syrup comes in either 55%-45% fructose-glucose or 42%-58% pairings). It’s difficult to find anything that’s mostly glucose, which means our sweeteners are setting us up for weight gain, and more insidiously, metabolic changes that can make us more prone to heart disease and diabetes.

Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, notes that studies have shown that long-term consumption of sugared drinks can double the risk of diabetes, with half of that risk due to the excess weight brought on by the calories, and the other half due to the beverages’ high sugar content — mostly fructose. “This study provides the best argument yet that we should either decide to consume less sugar-sweetened beverages in general, or that we should conduct more research into the possibility of using other sweeteners that may be more glucose-based,” says Matthias Tschoep, an obesity researcher at the Obesity Research Center in the University of Cincinnati, and author of a commentary accompanying the study. “It’s an unbelievable piece of work.”

If that’s the case, then why the glut of blended sugars rather than pure glucose in our foods today? Glucose isn’t as sweet as fructose, and because our collective sweet teeth have become accustomed to a certain level of sweetness, anything less might be unsatisfying. “The proportion of fructose in food probably hasn’t increased that much, since high fructose corn syrup simply replaced sucrose in many cases,” says Havel. “But people are also simply consuming more sugar in their diet.” In fact, if you think that the study subjects drank way more sweetened beverages (25% of their daily energy requirements came from the sugar in their drinks) in this study than the average American, you might want to consider this: according to recent data from an annual government survey, Americans on average wash down 16% of their daily energy needs with sugared drinks — not that far off the 25% threshold set by Havel in the study.

Willett, for one, isn’t convinced that glucose-based sweeteners are an attractive option for soda makers. “I don’t think any beverage company out there is considering putting pure glucose into their product,” he says. “It doesn’t have the same level of sweetness.”

Instead, he is advocating a drastic change in the sugar content of sodas. His Department of Nutrition is urging manufacturers to produce a line of beverages containing only 1 gm of sugar per ounce, a 70% reduction in sugar content. It’s all part of a campaign to re-train the American sweet tooth. “If children grow up with everything tasting super sweet, then it’s hard for them to appreciate he gentle sweetness of a fresh carrot or an apple,” he says. “Part of this is deconditioning palates to a much more natural level of sweetness.” That certainly won’t be easy, but it will surely be worth it. We could have our sugar and stay healthy too.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1892841,00.html#ixzz2L7NXaEKP


Many of our young people spend four years getting very expensive college degrees. But our universities fail them and the nation if they continue to graduate students with expertise in biochemistry, mathematics or history without teaching them to think about what problems are important and why.
Heather Wilson

I think this needs my bloggin attention

Taken from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/heatherwil456228.html

Many of our you…

My first video review


The Fluid-Mosaic Model

As we learn about cells, we came across cell membranes and the fluid-mosaic model would give a description of the cell membrane. The fluid part refers to the phospholipids of a cell membrane, which, like liquid, flow. The mosaic part refers to proteins embedded in the phospholipid bilayer that act as conduits through which molecules enter and exit the cell. It is a model because its only a theory. there has been other models before. The plasma membrane is described to be fluid because of its hydrophobic integral components such as lipids and membrane proteins that move laterally or sideways throughout the membrane. That means the membrane is not solid, but more like a ‘fluid’. The membrane is depicted as mosaic because like a mosaic that is made up of many different parts the plasma membrane is composed of different kinds of macromolecules, such as integral proteins, peripheral proteins, glycoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, and in some cases cholesterol, lipoproteins. According to the model, the plasma membrane is a lipid bilayer (interspersed with proteins). It is so because of its phospholipid component that can fold in itself creating a double layer – or bilayer – when placed in a polar surrounding, like water. This structural feature of the membrane is essential to its functions, such as cellular transport and cell recognition. The cell membrane is made up of a variety of molecules including phospholipids, proteins, sugars, and other various building blocks. Fluid mosaic refers to the ability of these elements to shift about the cell membrane, which is ever-changing. Much of the ability to shift comes from the unsaturated lipid chains in the cell membrane, which have kinked structures that prevent the phospholipids of which they are a part from packing tightly together. The fluidity of the membrane is essential for some small molecule transfer between the inside and outside of a cell, as well as the activation of some important pathways which require molecules embedded within the cell membrane to either split or join. The plasma membrane is composed of a phospholipid by-layer. That is, you have two phospholipids, which look like…jellyfish, as in they have a head and tails, these tails are hydrophobic, they don’t like water, so they join together on the inside of the by layer, the heads are hydrophillic, so are on the outside, facing the liquid of the cell. So in the end it looks a bit like a zip, with tails in the middle, and heads on the outside. The individual lipds are not joined to each other, to things can “float” about in the layer, mainly proteins used for active transport. Active transport, is going against the concentration gradient, sorta the opposite of diffusion. This uses the intrinsic proteins (the proteins that go all the way through the membrane) This works like a very selective gate, if a molecule lands on it, and it wants it in/out the cell, the protein will open at the end with the molecule, so the molecule enters the protein, the protein closes and opens the other side, letting the molecule out. Passive transport is along the concentration gradient, so any molecules that have a lower concentration on one side of the membrane can easily pass through without the use of proteins. This is things such as diffusion.There is a phospholipid bilayer which is made up phospholips whose heads are hydrophillic and their tails hydrophobic. The heads are exposed to water, and the tails are faced inwards shielding the hydrophobie parts from water.There are receptor proteins-in this proteins, shape dictates which molecule bind extracellular matrix is a mesh of insoluble proteins with glycoproteins. The funcion is to fill space for support, made up of collagen, elastin,fibronectin, laminin and proteoglycans. Glycoprotein is a protein covalently attached to a carbohydrate. Protein filament works as a cytoskeleton. A cytoskeleton is a network of interconnected filaments, which also allows for support.Fibronectins bind to receptor proteins called integrins that are built in the plasma membrane, these help will cell communication.Transport proteins function is to allow free flow of ions through the membrane. Cholesterol gas fysed rubgsm can be found in the phospholipid bilayer proteoglycan molecuels form complexes by noncovalently attaching to long polysaccaride molecules cell recognition proteins distinguish one cell from another. some glycoproteins (proteins with short cahins of sugars) serve as identification tags that are specifically recognized by other cells cytoplasm allows for the movement of materials in cell perpheral proteins are not embedded in the lipid bilayer, they are loosely bound to the surface of the membrane integral proteins pentrate the hydrophobic core of the lipid bilayer (consists of one or more amino acids that are nonpolar).


The video depicted an excellent flow of the model and it is for that reason in which i choose to review it. Apart from leaning about cells in biochemistry,this video taught me how these membranes of cells worked and the importance of each component. I think any biochemistry student should have a clear and concise understanding of the Fluid-Mosaic Model in order to appreciate each level of science. The video however left out certain components of the model and i felt it necessary to include these aspects with a supplement description in order to fully grasp the topic of the Model.



“Cell Membranes,” YouTube Video, 11:04,  posted by “Paul Andersen,” July 8, 2011,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y31DlJ6uGgE

Wanna know me, take a read.



The degree program that I am currently enrolled in at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus is the general degree comprising of a double major in Biology and Environmental and Natural Resources Management and to which I belong to the Faculty of Science and Technology. My main recognition and inspiration to this particular field of study is because we live in a world where a lot of people are suffering and most notably our planet is suffering as well, most notable from contamination, pollution, global warming, etc…the reason why I chose Biology is to study life and what it can show, do and provide for a better lifestyle for humanity to live and grow up in. The reason behind studying Environmental and Natural Resources Management is to study the earth; to make and contribute different changes in how to make the planet cleaner, safer and healthier for us and for future generations to grow up in. These two fields of  study is of paramount importance and needs the best group of  persons to follow in the footsteps of  ongoing  researchers as well as to make a mark on the world with new techniques and  I  certainly believe that I will not belong to that group but mainly branch off  into something much bigger where research will certainly evolve into new perspectives.

My present occupation is a student at the University of the West Indies and my desired occupation in the future is to become one of the worlds’ leading Microbiologists. The number of hours a week I intend to study is more or less two hours a day for six days. I arrived at this value because it is very important to revise and memorize the material in which is presented to me in the lecture, in the labs and also in the tutorials. It will help me stay ahead and plan ahead on my homework and class work and it will give me an insight on how to study for my exams. Not only do I have time allocated to studying but I have one hour each day particularly designated to do my own sets of research and distant learning. The activities that I plan to engage in to help me during my studies is by participating and going to the communications club, environmental club, biological societies club and also my geography club. I also have many aspirations in taking up a foreign language mainly Spanish as we live in a multi-lingual society with enriched languages and culture. These activities will prepare me to interact with others and share ideas about the world around us and how it can be made into a better place for us to live in. it would also make me into the “well rounded person.”

The class of degree I intend to receive is to graduate with honors and 3.5+ GPA. It is my hope; hard work and determination that will get me to achieve my goals of success and prosperity.  This is easier said than done but the will to achieve goals is far greater than anything imaginable. The graduate program I intend to pursue and study is to branch of to microbiology. The reason is because there is a lot more to studying and understanding life when microbiology is involved. It shows us the underlying cause to disease, sickness, disorders and it can give us some answers as to how we can help millions if not billions of people across the planet. I want to be able to be part of that change to help change the course of life and events for people to make healthier choices in living on this planet, treating the planet well and also to find new cures and treatments to help those in need. As I journey through the semesters gaining new knowledge and learning to build myself with the help of god, first and foremost and my family and friends and through the hardworking lecturers and other staff personnel, I intend to make full use and take full advantage of all the resources at the University of the West Indies.

On signing up for the Biochemistry 1 class, it sounded challenging but why would i want to journey through my university life without challenges. The first Biol 1362 AKA Biochemistry classes were well thought and delivered with the key points I needed to see myself working towards a grade A+.

One more thing, my name is 0m@r @l!