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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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