Earth Science News  





.
ICE WORLD
Why Fish Don't Freeze In The Arctic Ocean

This is the fish, Macropteris maculatus, with antifreeze protein structure. Credit: Konrad Meister.
by Staff Writers
Bochum, Germany (SPX) Aug 27, 2010
Together with cooperation partners from the U.S., the researchers surrounding Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith (Physical Chemistry II of the RUB) describe their discovery in a so-termed Rapid Communication in the prestigious American chemistry journal, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). The journal's independent reviewers evaluated the work as one of the top 5% of all submissions.

Better than household antifreeze
Temperatures of minus 1.8 degrees C should really be enough to freeze any fish: the freezing point of fish blood is about minus 0.9 degrees C. How Antarctic fish are able to keep moving at these temperatures has interested researchers for a long time. As long as 50 years ago, special frost protection proteins were found in the blood of these fish.

These so-called anti-freeze proteins work better than any household antifreeze. How they work, however, was still unclear. The Bochum researchers used a special technique, terahertz spectroscopy, to unravel the underlying mechanism.

With the aid of terahertz radiation, the collective motion of water molecules and proteins can be recorded. Thus, the working group has already been able to show that water molecules, which usually perform a permanent dance in liquid water, and constantly enter new bonds, dance a more ordered dance in the presence of proteins - "the disco dance becomes a minuet" says Prof. Havenith.

Souvenir from an Antarctic expedition
The subject of the current investigations was the anti-freeze glycoproteins of the Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni, which one of the American partners, Arthur L. Devries, had fished himself on an Antarctic expedition. "We could see that the protein has an especially long-range effect on the water molecules around it.

We speak of an extended dynamical hydration shell", says co-author Konrad Meister. "This effect, which prevents ice crystallization, is even more pronounced at low temperatures than at room temperature", adds Prof. Havenith. Nevertheless, to freeze the water, lower temperatures would be necessary.

Complexation of the AFP by borate strongly reduces the antifreeze activity. In this case, the researchers also found no change in the terahertz dance.

The researchers' results provide evidence for a new model of how AFGPs prevent water from freezing: Antifreeze activity is not achieved by a single molecular binding between the protein and the water, but instead AFP perturbs the aqueous solvent over long distances.

The investigation demonstrated for the first time a direct link between the function of a protein and its signature in the terahertz range. The studies were funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Ruhr-University Bochum
Beyond the Ice Age



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
ICE WORLD
Receding ice could unlock arctic trove
Helsinki, Finland (UPI) Aug 26, 2010
Receding arctic ice from global warming may open new avenues for tourism and trade and could reveal vast new natural resource reserves, researchers say. The northern ice cover is becoming smaller and thinner, and scientists predict the Arctic Ocean could lose its icecap completely during summertime by the end of the century at the latest, and possibly as early as the 2030s, Finland's He ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


ICE WORLD
Celebrating and commemorating, New Orleans remembers Katrina

Pakistan on 'war footing' to save city

Chile, NASA in talks to rescue miners

Jazz breathes life back into New Orleans after Katrina

ICE WORLD
Canadian PM Announces Support For Next Gen Of Satellites

First Successful Corona Remote Sensing Satellite Marks 50 Year Anniversary

Apple expected to update iPod line at Sept. 1 event

Japan develops 'touchable' 3D TV technology

ICE WORLD
Lula's parting gift is a controversial dam

After decades, Estonians could regain seal hunting rights

EU overfishing charges 'preposterous': Iceland

Japan high-tech toilet makers flush with success

ICE WORLD
Why Fish Don't Freeze In The Arctic Ocean

Receding ice could unlock arctic trove

Is The Ice In The Arctic Ocean Getting Thinner And Thinner

Resolving The Paradox Of The Antarctic Sea Ice

ICE WORLD
Malaysia mulls landmark trial of GM anti-dengue mosquitoes

Plant Scientists Move Closer To Making Any Crop Drought-Tolerant

Ancient Roman mill uncovered in U.K.

Paraguay marks fragile farm-based recovery

ICE WORLD
Thousands flee as Indonesia volcano erupts

Antigua, Caribbean brace for Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Danielle halts high-tech mapping of 'Titanic'

Niger floods leave 200,000 homeless: UN

ICE WORLD
S.Africa defends Chinese expansion in Africa

S.Africa's Zuma in China for talks on growing ties

Somali peacekeepers may boost troops

South Africa's Zuma visits key partner China to boost ties

ICE WORLD
The Mother Of All Humans

Giant Chinese 'Michelin baby' startles doctors: reports

Mother Of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago

Humans Trump Nature On Texas River


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement