defective saliva?

Brian Smith-White smithwhi at
Wed Nov 2 16:23:00 EST 1994

In Article <byang-021194091113 at> "byang at (Beverly Yang)" says:
> I did an experiment in my molecular biology class in which I mixed my
> saliva into a starch solution, added Benidict's solution, heated the test
> tube and waited far a reaction with the amylase in my saliva.  However,
> nothing happened.  My teacher said that a certain percentage of the
> population do not have certain enzymes in their saliva, such as amylase,
> and that I may be among them.  Is there another explanation for why my
> simple experiment didn't work, or is my saliva defective?
> -- 
> Disclaimer:  This opinion has nothing to do with Monta Vista High or
> Freemont Union High School District!=)
How hot did you heat the test tube? Strange as it might seem, enzymes do 
not take real well to being overheated. The "defective" saliva might be the
result of an allele encoding an amylase which is more heat labile than that
encoded by the other alleles.

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