Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Industry and Business News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Finding May End A 30-Year Scientific Debate

Peter Davies, Rob Campbell and Christopher Garnham are the biochemistry researchers whose discovery about the precise way antifreeze proteins bind to the surface of ice crystals may end a decades-old scientific debate.
by Staff Writers
Kingston, Canada (SPX) Apr 13, 2011
A chance observation by a Queen's researcher might have ended a decades-old debate about the precise way antifreeze proteins (AFP) bind to the surface of ice crystals.

"We got a beautiful view of water bound to the ice-binding site on the protein," says Peter Davies, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and a world leader in antifreeze protein research. "In a sense we got a lucky break."

AFPs are a class of proteins that bind to the surface of ice crystals and prevent further growth and recrystallization of ice. Fish, insects, bacteria and plants that live in sub-zero environments all rely on AFPs to survive.

AFPs are also important to many industries, including ice cream and frozen yogurt production which relies on AFPs to control ice-crystal growth.

The implications of this finding reach far beyond creating low-fat, high water-content ice cream that maintains a rich, creamy texture.

Having a clear idea of how AFPs bind to the surface of ice crystals would allow researchers and industries to engineer strong, versatile AFPs with countless commercial applications ranging from increasing the freeze tolerance of crops to enhancing the preservation of transplant organs and tissues.

While determining the crystal structure of an AFP from an Antarctic bacterium, biochemistry doctoral candidate Christopher Garnham was fortunate enough to see an exposed ice-binding site-a rare find in the field of AFP crystallography that Mr. Garnham studies.

The ice binding surface of an AFP contains both hydrophobic or 'water repelling' groups as well as hydrophilic or 'water loving' groups. Until now, the exact function of these counter-acting forces with respect to ice-binding was unknown.

While the presence of water repellent sites can appear counterintuitive on a protein that bonds with ice, Mr. Garnham and Dr. Davies are hypothesizing that the function of these water repellent sites is to force water molecules near the surface of the protein into an ice-like cage that mirrors the pattern of water molecules on the surface of the ice crystal.

The water-loving sites on the protein's surface then anchor this ice-like cage to the protein via hydrogen bonds. Not until the ordered waters are anchored to the AFP is it able to bond to ice.



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



Related Links
Queen's University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


TECH SPACE
Tissue Engineers Use New System To Measure Biomaterials, Structures
Providence RI (SPX) Apr 13, 2011
Tissue engineering makes biologists builders, but compared to their civil engineering counterparts, they don't know much about the properties of the materials and structures they use, namely living cells. To improve that knowledge, Brown University researchers have developed a simple and reliable system for measuring the power that cells employ to assemble into three-dimensional tissue. Th ... read more







TECH SPACE
Researchers Find Replacement For Rare Material Indium Tin Oxide

Kindle e-reader cheaper with on-screen ads

Winklevoss twins lose Facebook appeal

Apple's iPad to remain top tablet in 2015: Gartner

TECH SPACE
Preparations Underway As US Army Gears Up For Large-Scale Network Evaluations

Global Military Communications Market In 2010

Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad

Gilat Announces New Military Modem For Robust Tactical Satcom-On-The-Move

TECH SPACE
Arianespace Flight VA201: Interruption Of The Countdown

Russia Looks To Grab Half Of World Space Launch Market

Mitsubishi Electric's ST-2 Satellite Arrives In French Guiana

Jugnu Set To Go Into Space In June

TECH SPACE
GPS to protect Bulgarian locomotives from fuel thefts

Make Your Satnav Idea A Reality

GPS Study Shows Wolves More Reliant On A Cattle Diet

Galileo Labs: Better Positioning With Concept

TECH SPACE
S. Korea preferred bid for Indonesian jet contract

Chinese airlines sign deal to buy 35 Embraer jets

Google's $700 million ITA buy cleared with conditions

Google, Justice Department near deal on ITA: WSJ

TECH SPACE
Technique For Letting Brain Talk To Computers Now Tunes In Speech

Japan's stalled chip sector 'to cost $470bn'

Control The Cursor With Power Of Thought

Self-Cooling Observed In Graphene Electronics

TECH SPACE
Arctic Ice Gets A Check Up

3-D map of Philippines to help combat disasters

For NASA's Aquarius, Quest For Salt A Global Endeavor

First Consistent Geological Interpretation Of East Africa Rift System

TECH SPACE
High Levels Of Toxic Compounds Found On Coasts Of West Africa

EU declares war on plastic litter in Mediterranean

Study reveals cost of nitrogen pollution

Danube Will Solve Hungary's Environmental Disaster


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