ingredient information
Enzymes Modified
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Enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions.[1][2] Nearly all known enzymes are proteins. However, certain RNA molecules can be effective biocatalysts too. These RNA molecules have come to be known as ribozymes.[3] In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process are called substrates, and the enzyme converts them into different molecules, called the products. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes to occur at significant rates. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell. Like all catalysts, enzymes work by lowering the activation energy (Ea or ?G‡) for a reaction, thus dramatically increasing the rate of the reaction. Most enzyme reaction rates are millions of times faster than those of comparable un-catalyzed reactions. As with all catalysts, enzymes are not consumed by the reactions they catalyze, nor do they alter the equilibrium of these reactions. However, enzymes do differ from most other catalysts by being much more specific. Enzymes are known to catalyze about 4,000 biochemical reactions.[4] A few RNA molecules called ribozymes catalyze reactions, with an important example being some parts of the ribosome.[5][6] Synthetic molecules called artificial enzymes also display enzyme-like catalysis.[7] Enzyme activity can be affected by other molecules. Inhibitors are molecules that decrease enzyme activity; activators are molecules that increase activity. Many drugs and poisons are enzyme inhibitors. Activity is also affected by temperature, chemical environment (e.g., pH), and the concentration of substrate. Some enzymes are used commercially, for example, in the synthesis of antibiotics. In addition, some household products use enzymes to speed up biochemical reactions (e.g., enzymes in biological washing powders break down protein or fat stains on clothes; enzymes in meat tenderizers break down proteins, making the meat easier to chew). Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. The DNA of genetically modified organisms has been modified through genetic engineering, unlike similar food organisms developed through the conventional genetic modification of selective breeding (plant breeding and animal breeding) or mutation breeding. GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. Typically, genetically modified foods are transgenic plant products: soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil, but animal products have been developed. For example, in 2006 a pig engineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids through the expression of a roundworm gene was controversially[1][2] produced.[3] Researchers have also developed a genetically-modified breed of pigs that are able to absorb plant phosphorus more efficiently, and as a consequence the phosphorus content of their manure is reduced by as much as 60%. [4] Critics have objected to GM foods on several grounds, including perceived safety issues,[5] ecological concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.