Antifreeze Proteins Can Stop Ice Melt

ATHENS, Ohio, March 2 (UPI) — U.S. and Canadian scientists say they’ve discovered antifreeze proteins that prevent freezing in cold conditions also prevent melting in warmer environments.

Researchers from Ohio University and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, said their findings mark the first direct measurements of the “superheating” of ice crystals in antifreeze protein solutions and have implications for various technologies that use superconductor materials and nanoparticles.

Antifreeze proteins are found in insects, fish, bacteria and other organisms that need to survive in low temperatures, the researchers said. The proteins protect the organisms by arresting the growth of ice crystals in their bodies.

“During recrystallization, a larger ice crystal grows while a smaller one melts. Antifreeze proteins can help control both of these processes,” said Ohio University Associate Professor Ido Braslavsky, who worked on the study with doctoral student Yeliz Celik and Queens University Professor Peter Davies.

The research that also included postdoctoral fellow Maya Bar of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and Queen’s University Assistant Professor Laurie Graham and postdoctoral researcher Yee-Foong Mok is reported in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Categorized | Fish, Snowpack & Ice
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