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August 30, 2010

Anti-freeze proteins


Temperatures in the Arctic really extreme, with an average of minus 1.8 ° C. Supposedly, this low temperature enough to freeze any fish: the freezing point of fish blood is about minus 0.9 ° C.
But in the Arctic Ocean, under the ice shelf, the fish moves with chirpy. This is what attracted many scientists to investigate.


Since about 50 years ago, experts have discovered, found in fish blood proteins frost protection. Anti-freeze protein was working perfectly, far more perfect than the anti-freeze machines operated on the West steps of the houses when winter comes.
But how this protein works, no one can give an explanation.


This is what encourages local researchers, along with a team from the United States, led by a local scientist Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith to conduct in-depth research. Result, their publication in the prestigious American journal of chemical, the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

The researchers used a special technique, terahertz spectroscopy, to reveal the underlying mechanism. With the help of terahertz radiation, the collective motion of water molecules and proteins can be recorded. Thus, the working group has been able to demonstrate that water molecules, which usually make a permanent dance in liquid water, and constantly entering new bonds, would be more regular with the presence of this protein.

Is typical of the Arctic fish, Dissostichus mawsoni, a type of toothed fish, which became the main object of research. Arthur L. DeVries, one of the researchers, said, the protein in fish is able to prevent the crystallization of ice, even more intense at low temperatures than at room temperature. "Antifreeze activity is not achieved with single-molecule binding between proteins and water, but with the presence of this protein, the function of" dissolution "will get more leverage," he said.   

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