A dramatic demonstration that simulates how tiny ice crystals would form and grow in the blood of most fish if they ventured into the icy waters of the Antarctic.
Appropriate for: middle school life science, high school biology (all levels), introductory college biology.
This demonstration serves as an extension to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute short film The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes. Most fish would freeze to death in the Southern Ocean because the temperature of the water is below the freezing point of their blood. Icefish (and all other notothenioids), however, have a protein in their blood that prevents it from freezing. Students will be able to explain the importance of antifreeze proteins to the survival of icefish and all other notothenioids.
NGSS (April 2013)
MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS4-4, MS.LS4.B, MS.LS4.C, MS.PS1.A, HS-LS4-2, HS.LS1.A, HS.LS4.B, HS.LS4.C
Common Core (2010)
ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1, ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1c, ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1d, ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c, ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d
AP Biology (2012–13)
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 3.C.1, 4.C.1
IB Biology (2009)
4.1, 4.3, 5.4, 6.2, 7.5