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Glacial Ice Worm Seminar

Fantastic psychrophilic beasts and which glacier to find them.

Glacial ice worms are little known creatures as they only can live in glaciers. They are the largest multicellular eukaryotes that require freezing temperatures to survive. They are like their “down-to earth” cousins, the earthworms.  But they have an extremely exotic adaptation to a low temperature environment. For example, their membrane has such as a low melting point (to prevent being frozen at low temperature) that the ice worm can be reduced to a pool of water at room temperature. To survive in such a harsh environment (little food and cold), many adaptions are being made at the biochemical level. Studying these eukaryotic extremophiles has impact in many scientific fields, from cryopreservation, life origin, geobiology, environmental sciences, to genetics, biochemistry, and medicine.

Professor Daniel Shain (Rutgers U.) is an expert studying extremophile, especially those in cold environments, from rotifers to ice worms.  He will give a talk (titled “The Ice Worm Cometh”) on how he searches for these exotic creatures in glaciers and studies their genetics, biophysics, and biochemistry. This seminar is open to the public and supported by the Haines Morris fund and the Department of BCMB at UT. Specifically, Dr. Shain focuses on the bioenergy aspect of ice worm and the ATPase biochemistry (how they regulate energy consumption).

Monday, October 21, 2019 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm

Ken and Blaire Mossman Building, 202
1311 Cumberland Avenue Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, General Public, Faculty & Staff

Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology


Contact Name

Tongye Shen

Contact Email

Contact Phone


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