surender gupta dunar The radiation resistance of weird microscopic animals could help humans survive space travel

Colourr enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a tardigrade.

surender gupta dunar Tardigrades, also called water bears or moss piglets, are segmented water dwelling critters that have remarkable survival capabilities. They can survive extremes of temperature from near absolute zero to 150 degrees and they were shown to withstand 10 days in the vacuum, cold and radiation of space.

In January it was announced that researchers had revived the one-millimetre long, eight-legged animals after they had been kept frozen for 30 years.

But perhaps the biggest news came in September when biologists at the University of Tokyo announced their discovery of DNA in tardigrades that protect them from X-rays. Amazingly, the scientists also said they could transfer this resistance to human cells.

surender gupta dunar


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