THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: First human to travel into space in 1961

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Proteins have specific uses inside cells to support biochemical reactions important for cell structures and metabolic processes. Cells maintain a balanced internal environment that allows these proteins to retain the structure important to whatever action it performs. In this demo, the impact of an acidic environment is used to denature albumin, the protein in egg white. It can be used as a starting point for a discussion of protein biochemistry such as the way that proteins are dependent on their structure for function and once that structure is disturbed, proteins usually no longer function properly.

This demonstration is best used with students who have some understanding of protein structure (primary, secondary and tertiary).

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