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Organisms that live at the frigid poles of our planet have evolved strategies to withstand
temperatures that would kill most species instantly. Some secrete ice-nucleating substances that
control the freezing process, for example, while others accumulate anti-freeze proteins that
allow their cells to remain unfrozen even at subzero temperatures, a phenomenon known as
Now, researchers in the Czech Republic have shown that some of these strategies can be
conferred upon species that would otherwise succumb to the cold, like the temperate-adapted
The results, published today (February 13) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, could have implications for tissue storage and cyropreservation strategies for
more complex organisms.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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