Curious Cases of the Enzymes / Neobiča Istorija Enzima

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Life as we know it heavily relies on biological catalysis, in fact, in a very nonromantic version of it, life could be considered as a series of chemical reactions, regulated by the guarding principles of thermodynamics. In ancient times, a beating heart was a good sign of vitality, however, to me, it is actually the presence of active enzymes that counts… Though we do not usually pay attention, the history of enzymology is as old as humanity itself, and dates back to the ancient times. This paper is dedicated to these early moments of this remarkable science that touched our lives in the past and will make life a lot more efficient for humanity in the future. There was almost always a delicate, fundamentally essential relationship between mankind and the enzymes. Challenged by a very alien and hostile Nature full of predators, prehistoric men soon discovered the medicinal properties of the plants, through trial and error. In fact, they accidently discovered the enzyme inhibitors and thus, in crude terms, kindled a sparkling area of research. These plant-derivatives that acted as enzyme inhibitors helped prehistoric men in their pursuit of survival and protection from predators; in hunting and fishing… Later in history, while the underlying purposes of survival and increasing the quality of life stayed intact, the ways and means of enzymology experienced a massive transformation, as the ‘trial and error’ methodology of the ancients is now replaced with rational scientific theories.

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