"The Antarctic icefish live in water colder than freezing — 2 degrees below zero Centigrade.
Ocean water doesn’t freeze at this temperature because it’s full of salt. The blood of the icefish is less salty than seawater; instead, it keeps itself from freezing by using ice proteins, sometimes called antifreeze proteins, that attach to ice crystals forming in the blood stream.
Once the ice crystals are coated with antifreeze protein, they can’t stick together, so they don’t grow. The icefish of the Antarctic have used this adaptation to become very successful — making up 95% of the fish biomass around Antarctica.
A new study suggests that the production of beef is around 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock. Scientists measured the environment inputs required to produce the main US sources of protein. Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While it has long been known that beef has a greater environmental impact than other meats, the authors of this paper say theirs is is the first to quantify the scale in a comparative way. (via BBC News - Beef environment cost 10 times that of other livestock)
Signal may send cancer’s cellular factories into overdrive
A network of signals active in almost all types of cancer sends the protein factories in our cells into overdrive, and may help fuel a tumour’s uncontrolled growth, new research suggests.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes, identified a molecular trigger responsible for ramping up activity of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – the cellular factory that makes the building blocks cancer cells need to keep growing.
The findings may help to explain how cancer cells maintain their high levels of metabolism – and could uncover future targets for cancer treatment
The top three images show human hepatocarcinoma cells with the endoplasmic reticulum (blue) and nucleus (red). Copyright: Dr Chris Bakal, The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
The bottom image shows human epithelial cells from breast tissue treated with Torin, an inhibitor of TOR kinase, where the endoplasmic reticulum is (green), nuclei (red) and F-actin (grey) Copyright: Dr Chris Bakal, The Institute of Cancer Research, London.