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Antarctic bacteria float through winter

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As the Northern Hemisphere shivers through winter, bacteria in Antarctica are employing an inventive strategy to survive the extreme cold: they use a specialized antifreeze protein to latch onto the ice and stay afloat.

Antifreeze proteins generally protect their hosts from freezing by controlling the growth of destructive ice crystals. They were first found in fish swimming in icy waters (see this paper about the evolution and transfer of these proteins between different fish species), and have also been found in plants and bacteria.

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