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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jan 18 06:54 AM

Jan 18, 2009: Icefish

Antarctic Icefish, it doesn't live on the ice, but in water that's close, at minus 1.8 degrees C.
This is the only one of many fish in the southern ocean, that was able to survive and thrive after the Drake Passage opened up about 40 million years ago, allowing a current of cold water to isolate the continent and turn it into an icehouse.

Well so what? This fish has no red blood cells, and a minimal, very brittle skeleton. So scientists studying anemias and osteoporosis among other diseases, want to know how this thing survives.



Quote:
“We’re interested in how the fish are able to fold their proteins in a cold, energy-poor environment,” explained Detrich in August, following a two-month excursion to Antarctica during the middle of the Southern Hemisphere winter.

Proteins, in the words of a somewhat famous cable guy, get ’er done: they’re behind many biological processes. As enzymes, they drive biochemical reactions that make biology work. They are the main constituent of muscles, hair, skin and blood vessels. As antibodies, they recognize intruders and prompt the immune system to get rid of the unwanted invaders.

In order to carry out its specific function, each protein must take on a unique three-dimensional shape, in a process called folding. Detrich’s group is particularly interested in how a complex called CCT chaperonin assists other proteins in the folding process, especially their role in the folding of tubulins that form microtubules. Microtubules are one of the components of the cytoskeleton, a structure maintains cell shape and cell motility.

Protein folding is often referred to as the “second genetic code,” according to Detrich, but scientists don’t understand the rules under which protein folding occurs. By observing protein folding at low temperatures, he said, it may be possible to develop insights into how protein folding works in all organisms.
Antarctica in the middle of winter? Sure, some scientists get all the cushy jobs.

link


spudcon  Sunday Jan 18 08:22 AM

Protein folding in the Antarctic Uglyfish happens best when tartar sauce and lemon are added.



classicman  Sunday Jan 18 10:38 AM

No no spud, its right after the first side is done cooking and you flip it in the pan. Only then can the folding happen properly. Its a small distinction, but one of scientific importance.



Trilby  Sunday Jan 18 01:38 PM

It's gross. Another gross sea thing. How many can there be?



Sundae  Sunday Jan 18 03:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Antarctica in the middle of winter? Sure, some scientists get all the cushy jobs.
One of the men I most admire (I'm not using hero, just in case) explored the Antarctic in the middle of Winter. And Apsley Cherry-Garrard (no relation) did not have any of the benefits of the 21st century to ease his passage. Kudos to those studying there today, but Cherry-Garrard was one of many men who laid their path for them.

I often wonder why such time and effort and money were spent on going into space when there are so many mysteries in the Deep. This is another one of them, and it is fascinating. Bri - if you think this is grim you should read up on copepods/ Greenland Sharks. The parasites feed on the corneas of of the sharks, and the resulting scars blind them. Huge - up to 21 feet - blind, poisonous sharks (their flesh is toxic - except to eachother, yes they are also cannabalistic), swimming 5,000 feet deep in sub zero temperatures, with these parasites scoffing their eyes.

If there is a Creator he had a sick sense of humour.


capnhowdy  Sunday Jan 18 04:38 PM

We don't explore the depths because if we did the Russians would have to come on our turf to join the "race". And we on theirs.
No red blood cells? Absolutely amazing. This creature has got to be unique in that respect.
...pours another Glen Livett and hunkers down for a long google....



sweetwater  Sunday Jan 18 06:23 PM

From the Antarctic? I would have assumed France, since he's sporting a narrow mustache, and holding onto a snail and an order of fries.



capnhowdy  Sunday Jan 18 06:37 PM

I didn't know all those pretty coral/anemonae thingys could thrive there. hmmm.



Aliantha  Sunday Jan 18 06:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetwater View Post
From the Antarctic? I would have assumed France, since he's sporting a narrow mustache, and holding onto a snail and an order of fries.
Now that's funny. lol I had to go back and look at the pic, and it was very amusing to look at it from that perspective.


newtimer  Sunday Jan 18 06:43 PM

"...a minimal, very brittle skeleton."

A fish that probably won't get a bone lodged in your throat? No wonder it hides in subfreezing water, away from fishermen.

(SweetH2O, that's a good observation. I had to scroll back up to see, but sure enough, there be French fries there!)



classicman  Sunday Jan 18 06:51 PM

Is that a bloomin' onion in the background?



capnhowdy  Sunday Jan 18 08:04 PM

or coral/anemonae thingys?



SPUCK  Monday Jan 19 05:33 AM

I think he's cute.



Sundae  Monday Jan 19 08:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetwater View Post
From the Antarctic? I would have assumed France, since he's sporting a narrow mustache, and holding onto a snail and an order of fries.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
I know other people have said it too, but I couldn't let it pass without congratulations. That really tickled me, thank you.


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