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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Free report - May 2020: Green chemistry in nature, part 2

by Aaditya Singh | 11-05-2020 02:15 Comments 10 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

The sugar-based antifreeze produced by the Alaskan darkling beetle to ensure preservation in subzero temperatures

In last month'e theme report about chemicals, I had emphasized the green chemistry in nature with some examples. Through this report, I am highlighting another unique creation, wherein a natural adaptation that manifests itself as green chemistry contributes to the survival of a species and contributes to maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Indeed when the human race creates and uses man made chemicals, we must consider the impact of our creations and ensure that use of these chemicals does not affect nature negatively.

The Alaskan darkling beetle (Upis beetle)

The Alaskan darkling beetle has to live through harsh winter conditions that can drop to -60 degrees C. While the Alaskan beetle freezes at around -19 degrees, it can survive subzero temperatures as low as -100 degrees. The beetle uses natural chemical processes to ensure that its internal cell contents that are relatively liquid do not freeze.



Most other organisms that have to survive under extreme cold circumstances use proteins as antifreeze agents but the Alaskan beetle produces a chemical called xylomannan. Xylomannan is a polymer of alternating xylose and mannose sugars. It acts as a sugar-based antifreeze which the beetle uses to keep itself safe.

This chemical uses oily compounds to attach to the outer cell membrane. It then takes on the task to restrict extracellular ice from entering into the cell to ensure that ice does not form inside the cell and affect the stability of the membrane.


Natural chemical integration

The polymer, Xylomannan was recently  discovered in the Alaskan darkling beetle or the Upis beetle by researchers from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks think that using this natural chemical preservation system and integrating either the same chemical or a similar idea at least into other aspects of science can be an eco friendly method of preservation.

Another perfect example of how nature uses chemistry to preserve and sustain a balance. Needless to say, science and chemistry if used judiciously can be beneficial to the environment.


Sources and references



Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Aaditya Singh, this is a mentor Sang Su Lee.

    It is always marvelous to observe how nature behaves to survive in the extreme conditions. In fact, many humans are trying to learn those techniques to apply to themselves. I heard from my professor that some nano machine technicians are trying to learn from a fly that even though it eats tiny amount of food, it can fly for a very long time. With this mechanism, humans would be able to develop a machine that needs organic fuel for sustaining its power.

    Thank you for your article!
    Posted 21-05-2020 18:31

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings aaditya
    I hope you are doing well
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 19-05-2020 16:05

Jasmine Karki

  • Jasmine Karki says :
    I do hope you are all good..

    Thank you so much for such wonderful report!!
    It was awesome to go thorough it ..
    Hope to learn more from you ..

    Green cheers
    Jasmine karki
    Posted 17-05-2020 16:00

Samiksha Adhikari

  • Samiksha Adhikari says :
    Hi Aditya,

    I hope you are fine and doing great. i was really excited reading the report .

    keep writing!!

    Posted 13-05-2020 18:45

Bal krishna Pandey

  • Bal krishna Pandey says :

    Hello Aaditya Singh ,
    I hope you are doing well.
    thanks for this amazing content about May 2020: Green chemistry in nature, part 2
    I hope to learn more from you
    keep inspiring fellow ambassadors
    green cheers
    Posted 13-05-2020 17:19

Manisha Pokhrel

  • Manisha Pokhrel says :
    Hi Aditya!

    I hope you are going great.It was really nice reading this report.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 13-05-2020 16:36

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Aaditya!

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Green chemistry in nature

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 12-05-2020 12:35

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Aaditya Singh, this is mentor Taehyun!

    Thank you for your introduction to the interesting survival strategies of polar creatures! In fact, in order to survive in extreme environments like the polar regions, polar creatures have set up a variety of survival strategies, one of which is to make antifreeze protein components, and these days they are working to develop antifreeze solutions that can be used in bio-mechanicals! That sounds amazing!

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 11-05-2020 22:27


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    I really enjoy reading your report, Keep writing!!!
    Posted 11-05-2020 15:17

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Aaditya!

    I hope you are doing great!

    I enjoy reading your report!
    Thanks for sharing about Upis Beetle and its mechanism to survive in extreme cold condition
    using natural chemicals.


    Posted 11-05-2020 13:37

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