Researchers at Queen's University (Canada) have sequenced and synthesised the anti-freeze-like protein that allows snow fleas to operate in sub-zero environments, and found it to be glycine-rich, and unlike any previously known protein. There are hopes that similar proteins may be useful for storing transplant organs and for producing better ice cream. By preventing the formation of ice crystals in tissues, organs could be stored at lower temperatures, increasing the time of their viability outside a living body. Unlike proteins with similar functions in other species, the protein found in snow fleas breaks down easily at higher temperatures.
- John R. Meyer (September 5, 2006). "Collembola". General Entomology. North Carolina State University. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
- Lin FH et al. (1 March 2007). "Structural modeling of snow flea antifreeze protein". Biophysical Journal 92 (5): 1717–1723. doi:10.1529/biophysj.106.093435. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- Simonite, Tom (11 January 2008). "Edible antifreeze promises perfect ice cream". New Scientist. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- "New antifreeze protein may allow longer storage of transplant organs". Queen's University (Canada). 2005-10-21. (Press release.)
- Pictures and information from Fairfax County Public Schools