• Microscope image of H. vitrea by Cecilia Rad Menendez
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The recently established sea ice diatom-lipid association of some highly branched isoprenoids (HBI) is becoming routinely used for observing, quantifying and monitoring change in Arctic productivity, energy transfer through food webs and polar (and global) climate change (www.IP25.co.uk).

However, nothing is known about the ecophysiology of the source species or the environmental limits within which these HBIs will continue to be biosynthesised.

Given the current rate of change in the Arctic, it is imperative that we determine the conditions required for HBI biosynthesis in ice. Without the new information from FROZEN LIPidS we cannot fully understand how to interpret changes in the amount of polar HBI in a changing environment.