SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Catalase enzyme reaction. Montage sequence of a reaction being accelerated by the catalase enzyme. An enzyme is a biological catalyst, increasing reaction rates without itself reacting or changing. A common reaction used to demonstrate this is the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down into oxygen (producing the foam seen here) and water. Catalase (also known as hydrogen peroxide oxidoreductase) protects human cells from the toxic effects of hydrogen peroxide, which is a powerful oxidizer produced as a biochemical by-product. Here, the catalase is present in pieces of potato.
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