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Tutor profile: Owen R.

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Owen R.
Tutor for 3 years
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Questions

Subject: Organic Chemistry

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Question:

A chemist obtains a solution that is a mixture of butanol (244 °F) and hexanal (264 °F), she desires to isolate each compound. Which distillation method is most appropriate? Which compound do you expect to distill first and which will be left in the distillation apparatus?

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Owen R.
Answer:

Given the boiling points of the 2 compounds, we can note that their boiling points differ by 20 °F. Given this, it would be most appropriate to use fractional distillation to separate the 2 compounds since their boiling points are relatively close (within 25 °F) Butanol has the lower boiling point, as such, it will distill first leaving hexanal in the distillation apparatus for collection.

Subject: Biochemistry

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Question:

Drug X is a competitive inhibitor of enzyme Y, an enzyme involved in a disease pathway. What location does the drug bind on the enzyme? What is the expected effect the drug will have on the enzyme's Km and Vmax?

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Owen R.
Answer:

By definition, a competitive inhibitor binds to the active site of the enzyme, the location where the substrate binds as well. Accordingly, the Km of the enzyme will increase, resulting in a decreased affinity the enzyme has for its substrate. Competitive inhibitors have no effect on the Vmax of the enzyme since once the substrate binds, the velocity at which the reaction occurs remains the same.

Subject: Biology

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Question:

Tom is a cross country runner, as he runs he is actively contracting skeletal muscle. As blood is passing through this contracting muscle, what happens to the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen in the skeletal muscle tissue?

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Owen R.
Answer:

One of the blood's most important and necessary functions is the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our tissues that need it most. As Tom runs, respiration is occurring, as he intakes oxygen to produce energy through aerobic respiration and expels carbon dioxide as a waste product. During prolonged exercise, anaerobic respiration kicks in, decreasing the plasma pH surrounding our active muscles. In a phenomenon known as the Bohr effect, a decrease in plasma pH due to an increase in H+ concentration results in a decreased affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen. Due to this decrease, more oxygen is deposited into our active muscles, enabling us to continue exercising.

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