DEC 13, 2018 1:00 PM PST

Biochemical Antifreezes: How Do They Work?

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

How do fish survive in the Arctic ocean where the temperature is under zero degree Celsius most of the year? They rely on a class of polypeptides called the antifreeze proteins (AFPs). These small proteins are also found in some other animals, as well as plants, fungi, and bacteria that live in subzero environments.

The commonly used antifreeze fluid such as ethylene glycol can keep mechanical parts from freezing by lowering the freezing point in the mixed liquid. However, AFPs don't work this way. Their unique biochemical structure prevent small ice crystals from amalgamating with each other, forming larger crystal. Without these AFPs, the rapid growth of ice in the fish's body will lead to the death of internal tissues and organs.

Source: ACS Reactions via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
JAN 30, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
New advancement in battery development
JAN 30, 2021
New advancement in battery development
New research has been published in Nature Nanotechnology on the chemical reactions batteries with lithium metal anodes. ...
FEB 12, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Unlocking the enigma of platinum catalysts
FEB 12, 2021
Unlocking the enigma of platinum catalysts
Research published in Nature Communications reports new information identifying the specific roles that platinum na ...
MAR 04, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
The magic vibrational powers of frog lungs
MAR 04, 2021
The magic vibrational powers of frog lungs
Ever tried picking someone up at a loud, crowded bar? It’s not easy – not only may they not hear your fabulo ...
MAR 31, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Were These the First Structures in the Universe?
MAR 31, 2021
Were These the First Structures in the Universe?
It's been theorized that our Universe started as a hot, incredibly dense point that exploded in the Big Bang. It's thoug ...
APR 14, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Amping up the fight against superbugs with black phosphorus
APR 14, 2021
Amping up the fight against superbugs with black phosphorus
A research team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has devised an ultra-thin 2D antimicrobial coating that co ...
MAY 28, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Are transparent solar cells in our near future?
MAY 28, 2021
Are transparent solar cells in our near future?
Scientists are searching for alternative technologies to replace traditional silicon solar cells and the limits of their ...
Loading Comments...