Filming Freezing Flies

Yvonne Carts-Powell

To investigate why some insects can survive freezing, while others can’t, researchers filmed the formation and spread of ice in real time as fly larvae froze using high-energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source (APS).


Scatterings imageResearchers in the X-ray hutch. Left to right: Wah-Keat Lee (Argonne National Laboratory), Brent Sinclair, Steve Roberts (now of Central Michigan University), Arun Rajamohan (now of North Dakota State University), Allen Gibbs (University of Nevada at Las Vegas) and Jake Socha (Virginia Tech).

Why can some insects survive freezing, while others can’t? The answer seems to be related to how freezing occurs, according to research conducted at the University of Western Ontario (Canada) using images obtained with the Advanced Photon Source (APS) from Argonne National Laboratory (PLoS ONE 4(12): e8259; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008259).

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