X-Message-Number: 8590
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 08:07:09 -0800
From: "Joseph J. Strout" <>
Subject: new antifreeze compound; new member-down device

The Aug. 30 _Science_News_ reports on two newly characterized antifreeze
proteins from insects.  The one from the spruce budworm is 30 times more
potent than fish antifreeze.  The protein from the common mealworm is 100
times stronger than that from fish.

Both proteins create thermal hysteresis (the freezing point is lower than
the melting point).  The freezing point is lowered as much as 5.5 C by
these proteins.  Moreover, the ice crystals grown with the budworm protein
are smooth hexagonal disks, unlike the sharp spicules formed under normal
conditions or with fish antifreeze.  These smooth ice crystals may cause
less damage to cells and tissues.

And in the Oct. '97 _Popular_Science_ (p. 32), a ring (i.e., worn on the
finger) device is described which monitors pulse rate and oxygen levels in
arterial blood.  A radio transmitter in the ring sends the data to a
computer in the home, which processes the data and phones for help if
there's trouble.  The device is still a bit bulky, but a more comfortable
version is being built.  The work is being done at MIT by H. Harry Asada
and Boo-Ho Yang.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled debates...

|    Joseph J. Strout           Department of Neuroscience, UCSD   |
|               http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~jstrout/  |

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