Nili Ben David
The International School of The Stockholm Region
The liver is one of the most important organs in the animal and the human body. Having a large role in metabolism, it breaks down toxins in the body such as hydrogen peroxide, a byproduct of cellular metabolism. The enzyme catalase is responsible for this breakdown and if catalase is inhibited by copper sulphate for example, the excess hydrogen peroxide may cause oxidative stress which can lead to DNA and tissue damage, Unfortunately, copper sulphate is commonly used in pesticides, food and supplements which cattle and chicken farms are treated with. I measured the effect of the concentration of copper sulphate on the ability of chicken and cow livers to decompose hydrogen peroxide through a gas syringe. The results from both experiments showed that larger concentrations of CuSO^4 inhibited catalase, resulting in a lower volume of oxygen produced. However, there was a difference in the extent to which CuSO^4 had an effect in cows and chicken livers, as the cow liver was observed to withstand larger concentrations.