Off the coast of Antarctica there is a species of fish that actually has antifreeze proteins in its blood. This adaptation keeps the fish from freezing in the sub 0 temperatures but there seems to be a caveat to this remarkable evolutionary adaptation.
The Notothenioid fish species’ blood has to hold onto ice that gets in its blood. To prevent the ice crystals from growing the antifreeze proteins and mechanisms go into affect. Even after examining the fish in above freezing temperatures there was ice found in the blood of the creatures. University of Oregon’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution’s Paul Cziko, author of the study stated that they had discovered the caveat and trade off. The danger here is that the waters around the Antarctica region rarely rise enough to melt the ice crystals found in the fish’s blood so the creatures live their lives with ice crystals inside and these crystals could block blood flow.
Cziko noticed that the ice crystals were found in the fishes’ spleens. This might indicate that there is a system at work to keep the ice from the circulatory system.
Such studies allow for researchers and scientists to apply wht they learn to any number of technologies for both humans and devices. How the fish store and maintan the ice as well as maintenance their bodies is of key interest. Could these metabolic and biological systems aid in treating diseases, repairing injuries, solving equipment problems? Only more in depth study will achieve this and so far what has been found is quite surprising and indeed calles for more research to unlock the secrets of nature regarding these fish, their environment and what scientists can glean from it all.