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Title:Life in a Frozen Landscape
Author(s):Fields, Lauren
Subject(s):Integrative Biology
Abstract:At first glance this image is unremarkable: a juvenile fish sits atop a substrate ignoring the light and the camera. What is remarkable is that the substrate is made up of large(8cm diameter) ice platelets anchored to the seafloor in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.More remarkable still is that the body fluids of this fish should freeze at -1'C in the-1.9'C water but they do not due to the high concentrations of biological antifreeze glycoproteins circulating through their blood and body fluids, binding to the ice and preventing the fish from freezing. My research focuses on the environmental factors affecting antifreeze protein production, concentration, and activity in a genus of Antarctic fish. An ice-laden environment warrants greater antifreeze protein production than and environment with less ice and warmer seasonal temperatures. Despite the Southern Oceans extreme cold, there is still seasonal temperature variability and a few tenths of a degree or the presence of a single minute ice crystal can mean the difference between surviving and freezing.
Issue Date:2014-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Lauren Fields
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-13

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