This Round Worm Returns To Life After Freezing

Posted: Jan 23 2017, 5:51am CST | by , in Latest Science News

This Round Worm Returns to Life After Freezing
Antarctic nematode worms photographed under the microscope. Credit: David Wharton
  • First Research Study on Round Worm that Gets Back to Life after Freezing is Publsihed

The first molecular study of an organism able to survive intracellular freezing is published in a new paper.

New research on round worm can survive after freezing, published by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand. The study helps scientists understand the unique adaptation of organisms.

Round worm also known as Antarctic nematode from a coastal Antarctic penguin rookery at McMurdo Sound, and was found the best organism that can survive after freezing.

The research study shows that the round worm can avoid freeze by removing its entire water content, named cryoprotective dehydration. Scientists consider it the ability to protect from freezing and that makes round worm prominent.

The research team explored the expression patterns of the genes in round worm and found that they remained active in freezing. The survival is due to certain genes that protect them from cold temperatures.

This is the first time, such study reveals a rare adaptation, leading to a new discovery, said Lead author, computational biologist, Michael Thorne from BAS.

He also said, the Antarctic nematode can survive in high cold due to its adaptive strategies which no organism can do. The worm can even produce offspring after the survival.

Before this study, no such research was done on organisms that could survive in extremely low temperatures. The result of this new research study is a beginning for a new biological phenomenon that’s quite fascinating.

The research paper, molecular snapshot of an intracellular freezing event in an Antarctic nematode, by Michael Thorne, Anna Seybold, Craig Marshall and David Wharton, recently published in Cryobiology.

Scientists will continue with new experiments on nematode to find more about their remarkable behavior. Scientists hope that they will use this study as an application in certain areas. Being first study of this kind, the research has attracted several scientists in the world.

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