Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antifreeze proteins can stop ice melt, new study finds

Date:
March 2, 2010
Source:
Ohio University
Summary:
The same antifreeze proteins that keep organisms from freezing in cold environments also can prevent ice from melting at warmer temperatures, according to a new study.

The same antifreeze proteins that keep organisms from freezing in cold environments also can prevent ice from melting at warmer temperatures, according to a new Ohio University and Queen's University study published today in the Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Antifreeze proteins are found in insects, fish, bacteria and other organisms that need to survive in cold temperatures. These proteins protect the organisms by arresting the growth of ice crystals in their bodies. The new study not only has implications for understanding this process in nature, but also for understanding the superheating of crystals in technologies that use superconductor materials and nanoparticles.

Twenty years ago, researchers proposed that antifreeze proteins can create superheating by suppressing melting at temperatures higher than the equilibrium melting point.

"During recrystallization, a larger ice crystal grows while a smaller one melts. Antifreeze proteins can help control both of these processes," explained Ido Braslavsky, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Ohio University who worked on the study with lead author Yeliz Celik, a doctoral student in physics at Ohio University, and Professor Peter Davies of Queen's University in Canada.

The team's study, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, presents the first direct measurements of the superheating of ice crystals in antifreeze protein solutions, Celik said.

In addition, the researchers provide the first experimental evidence that superheated ice crystals can be stabilized above the melting point for hours, at a maximum temperature of about .5 degree Celsius. Superheated crystals rarely stay stable for long periods of time, and previous studies showed that stabilization only occurs under unique conditions, Braslavsky explained.

The researchers used two techniques in the study, fluorescence microscopy and sensitive temperature control of a solution within a thin cell. In order to track the position of the antifreeze protein on an ice crystal, the researchers attached a second protein to the antifreeze protein -- the green fluorescent protein, which glows under certain conditions. The scientists then placed the antifreeze protein solution in the thin cell, which allowed them to observe the fluorescence signal from the protein while finely controlling the ice crystal's temperature.

Although the study reveals that these proteins can suppress ice melting up to a certain point, the protein's ability to suppress ice growth is much stronger. The hyperactive antifreeze proteins used in the study were more capable of suppressing melting than the moderately active ones, Braslavsky said.

These findings potentially could make the process of ice recrystallization inhibition more efficient for applications such as maintaining the quality of frozen foods, Braslavsky said.

"Antifreeze proteins that inhibit growth and melt are essential for protection against freeze and thaw damages," he said. "Big crystals (that occur in the recrystalization process) separate cell walls and damage the integrity of the tissue."

In additional to Celik, Braslavsky and Davies, co-authors of the study include Maya Bar of the Weizmann Institute of Science and Laurie Graham and Yee-Foong Mok of Queen's University.


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. "Antifreeze proteins can stop ice melt, new study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301151923.htm>.
Ohio University. (2010, March 2). Antifreeze proteins can stop ice melt, new study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301151923.htm
Ohio University. "Antifreeze proteins can stop ice melt, new study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100301151923.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

Raw: Protesters Stage Wall Street Climate Sit-in

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A day after over 100,000 people marched against climate change, more than 1,000 activists blocked parts of Manhattan's financial district. Over 100 people, including a person wearing a white polar bear suit, were arrested Monday night. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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