Biology

Certain plants and animals protect themselves against temperatures below freezing with antifreeze proteins. How the larva of the beetle Dendroides canadensis manages to withstand temperatures down to -30 degrees Celsius is reported by an international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith from the Department of Physical Chemistry II at the Ruhr-Universität in the journal PNAS. Together with American colleagues, the RUB-researchers showed that interactions between the antifreeze proteins and water molecules contribute significantly to protection against the cold. Previously, it was assumed that the effect was only achieved through direct contact of the protein with ice crystals. The team obtained the results through a combination of terahertz spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations.

Health & Medicine

Taking inspiration from Mother Nature, scientists are reporting an advance toward preventing the tooth sensitivity that affects millions of people around the world. Their report on development of the substance, similar to the adhesive that mussels use to attach to rocks and other surfaces in water, appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.




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