Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fluorescence microscopy reveals why some antifreeze proteins inhibit ice growth better than others

08.03.2007
Finding could have medical, commercial applications

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.

Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohio.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>