How Does a Fish with Ice in its Veins Survive?

September 24, 2014 6:44 AM

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For years scientists have known that certain fish living in the harsh conditions of the Antarctic had specialized proteins that acted like antifreeze to keep their blood from freezing. Recently, however, they have discovered that the proteins also act as an anti-melt no matter how warm the water temperature gets.

The bony fish called notothenioids thrive in the frigid Southern Ocean, surviving water temperatures as low as twenty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. They make up about ninety percent of the sea life present. The proteins were first discovered in the 1960s by Arthur DeVries. Doctoral student Paul Cziko wor...

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