New antifreeze stops fish freezing

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Scientists have identified a new type of biological antifreeze in the Winter flounder, Pleuronectes americanus, says a paper in the journal Nature.

Many Arctic and Antarctic fishes have evolved antifreeze glycoproteins, dubbed AFGPs, to stop them from freezing in sub-zero salt water. The proteins, which exist in their blood plasma, inhibit the formation of ice crystals which would otherwise damage the cells of the fish and make them turn into solid lumps.

The antifreeze proteins that had previously been identified in the Winter flounder weren't sufficiently active to stop the fish from freezing in icy water. The new one, is said to be as effective as the AFGPs found in insects that live in freezing areas which stops the fish from freezing in the polar and subpolar waters.