Fall+2005+Midterm - BME 499 Biophysical Chemistry Mid-term...

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BME 499 “Biophysical Chemistry” Name:______________________________ Mid-term exam, Nov 2nd, 2005 1) Alzheimer’s Disease is believed to be related to fibrils that form in the brain by the self-assembly of β -amyloid peptides. What could be possible interactions that cause the β -amyloid peptides to assemble to fibrils? Name three ( 3P ). Amyloid fibrils can be formed in vitro (e.g. in a small vial in a laboratory) by adding amyloid peptides to an aqueous solution. If the small vial with the solution and the peptides is the system and the peptides start to assemble, then do you think that the entropy of the system increases or decreases during the assembly ( 2P )? Explain your answer ( 3P ). What about G for this process, is it positive or negative ( 1P )? Explain your choice ( 3P ). Which thermodynamic factor dominates G in this case ( 2P )? 2) Again you have to imagine to sweat in a sauna! This time you are in Finland and the locals have the weird custom to sit at 95 degrees Celsius and sweat away - but not only that, eventually someone will throw water onto the very hot stones of the oven of the sauna and to your horror you can watch the water vapor rising and filling the room. Within a minute the water vapor reaches you and it feels as if the temperature in the room has just increased by at least five or ten degrees. Do you think it is possible that the temperature in the sauna could have increased ( 1P )? Why ( 3P )? What could be another reason that it feels so hot when the water vapor reaches your skin? Explain in thermodynamic terms ( 3P ).
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3) One of the current hypotheses explaining the neurotoxic activity of amyloid fibrils is that these fibrils may bind to proteins in the brain and thereby change the function of
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Fall+2005+Midterm - BME 499 Biophysical Chemistry Mid-term...

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