Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Some Antifreeze Proteins Inhibit Ice Growth Better Than Others

Date:
March 19, 2007
Source:
Ohio University
Summary:
Antifreeze or "ice structuring" proteins -- found in some fish, insects, plants, fungi and bacteria -- attach to the surface of ice crystals to inhibit their growth and keep the host organism from freezing to death. Scientists have been puzzled, however, about why some ice structuring proteins, such as those found in the spruce budworm, are more active than others.

Ice crystals decorated by fluorescent antifreeze proteins.
Credit: Ido Braslavsky

Antifreeze or “ice structuring” proteins – found in some fish, insects, plants, fungi and bacteria – attach to the surface of ice crystals to inhibit their growth and keep the host organism from freezing to death. Scientists have been puzzled, however, about why some ice structuring proteins, such as those found in the spruce budworm, are more active than others.

Fluorescence microscopy now has shown how those aggressive proteins protect the cells of the insect, which is native to U.S. and Canadian forests.

The finding could have future applications in medical, agricultural and commercial food industries, according to a team of scientists led by Ido Braslavsky, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio University, and Peter Davies, a professor of biochemistry and biology at Queen’s University in Canada. They presented the work today at the March meeting of the American Physical Society in Denver, Colo.

In the recent study, Davies’ lab combined spruce budworm and fish antifreeze proteins with a fluorescent tag. Using a fluorescent microscope, Braslavsky and postdoctoral fellow Natalya Pertaya could observe how the proteins interacted with the surfaces of ice crystals. They found that the hyperactive antifreeze protein from the spruce budworm stops ice crystals from growing in particular directions. The antifreeze proteins from fish are less effective.

Antifreeze proteins, especially the hyperactive type found in the spruce budworm and other organisms, have various potential applications, according to Braslavsky. They could be used to preserve organs and tissues for medical applications such as transplants, and also could prevent frostbite. They also can inhibit crystal growth in ice cream – an application already in use by at least one commercial food manufacturer – as well as protect against agricultural frost damage.

The research was funded by Ohio University’s NanoBioTechnology Initiative and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio University. "Why Some Antifreeze Proteins Inhibit Ice Growth Better Than Others." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075558.htm>.
Ohio University. (2007, March 19). Why Some Antifreeze Proteins Inhibit Ice Growth Better Than Others. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075558.htm
Ohio University. "Why Some Antifreeze Proteins Inhibit Ice Growth Better Than Others." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307075558.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins