Thursday, 17 May 2007

S204: TMA-3

Its time for the third TMA, and I'm starting to get used to what needs to be done, and the work required. Would you believe it, there is another essay to do! Surely there are other ways to test knowledge than a stream of essays. I mean, this is science after all. The trouble with essays is there is no obvious answer. You can't say "7", or "it shows a linear relation", you have to keep talking about the subject, and hope you cover all the points that are in the marking scheme.

Question 1: Write a report about "The properties of mammalian phosphofructokinase (PFK)". Well this is going to top the best sellers list I can see already. A sizzling roller coaster of a novel with lots of hot gipsies seems in the offing.
Actually it turns out there is very little info on PFK in the books - certainly not enough for 1000 words of essay, and most of the report is based around protein types, structure, function, control etc with PFK being an example. PKF is an allosterically controlled protein, which means other things bind to it and inhibit its action, or help it to do its work. So there is a lot of feedback going on here. Its a key stage in glycolysis too.

Question 2: This question is about enzyme analysis, enzyme kinetics and control. It starts with a bit about enzyme analysis contrasting SDS-PAGE and Gel filtration as techniques for protein analysis. Then some graphs of enzyme kinetics have to be drawn from given data, and analysed.

Question 3: Finally a question related to ATP levels in cells at rest and under heavy exercise. A table has to be constructed from data found in the course, and then some reasons given for the relative levels.

All in all, not too bad - I get the same mark for this as for the first TMA.

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