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

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:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht 'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
16.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI have developed a novel single-polarization Kramers-Kronig receiver scheme
16.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

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: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>