Goldfish and crucian carp can survive for months in oxygen-free water by producing alcohol. Making energy without oxygen creates lactic acid, the buildup of which can damage tissues in other vertebrates. But these fish convert it into ethanol, which seeps out into surrounding water. Research published in Scientific Reports points to a spare set of proteins, that divert energy-rich molecules into a kind of cellular distillery. Blood-alcohol concentrations of crucian carp in icy ponds can surpass 50mg/100mL—above the drink-drive limit in some countries. That permits them to survive in waters inhospitable to other fish. And it probably makes the overwintering a bit less dreary. Drawn by @inky.dave #DaveSimonds #cartoon #drunkfish #science
Shared by theeconomist (The Economist) and selected for Featured.