Barnacles’ sticky secret revealed
Now researchers reveal all in The Journal of Experimental Biology.”No one really knew how to work with barnacle glue before this study,” says Dr Gary Dickinson, a member of the research team from Duke University’s canada goose coats Marine canada goose clearance Laboratory in Durham, North Carolina, US.
“Most people try to cut it off the bottom of a barnacle and then dissolve it, but we knew this does not work well, and this approach has limited potential,” he explains.
So Dr Dickinson and his colleagues learnt how to gently remove glue from the Canada Goose Online barnacles (Amphibalanus amphitrite) as they secreted it.
They were then able to deconstruct the glue to find out exactly how it works.
The team initially compared the glue to another substance which clots Canada Goose Jackets in solution; red blood cells.
They expected the mechanism by which glue particles bind, uk canada goose and red blood cells bind, to be canada goose black friday sale different.
However, they buy canada goose jacket cheap found they are Canada Goose Coats On Sale remarkably similar.
In blood, a number canada goose uk shop of enzymes work to create long protein fibres that bind red blood cells together into a clot and create a scab.
Using techniques including atomic force microscopy and mass Canada Goose online spectrometry, the team found that very similar enzymes, known as trypsin like serine proteases, are at work in uk canada goose outlet barnacle glue.
One of these glue enzymes is remarkably like Factor XIII, an essential blood clotting agent in human blood.
“We’ve found homologous enzymes in barnacles and buy canada goose jacket humans, which serve canada goose black friday sale the same function of clotting proteins underwater, despite canada goose store roughly a billion years of evolutionary separation,” says Dr Dickinson.
However, this surprising https://www.canadagoosejacketca.ca result does make evolutionary sense, says team member Professor canada goose coats on sale Dan Rittschof, also from Duke University’s Marine Laboratory.
“Virtually no biochemical pathway is brand canada goose factory sale new. Everything is related and really important pathways are used over and over,” he explains.
“Really key parts of those pathways can’t change because if they do, the pathway fails and the animal dies.”Dr Dickinson believes other organisms might also use this glue.
“The enzymes are highly conserved because they cheap Canada Goose are very effective at what canada goose they do.”
“There are bound to be a number Canada Goose Parka of other organisms that use the same enzymes for the same purpose,” he says.
His team hopes that further research might lead to a solution to the problem of marine fouling, where barnacles stick to boat hulls Canada Goose sale creating drag.
Many anti fouling compounds used to paint the canada goose uk outlet undersides of boats are toxic, so Dr canada goose clearance sale Dickinson’s team hopes to canadian goose jacket find a more cheap canada goose uk environmentally friendly solution.
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