Tardigrades In Space (TARDIS)

Posted on September 14, 2008  Comments (1)

Research showing that Tardigrades (Water Bears) can survive in space without protection has been in the news lately. There is a blog with a few posts from the research team (only from last year unfortunately): Tardigrades In Space (TARDIS). They chose not to publish the research in an open access fashion, unfortunately.

Tiny Critters Survive Space

These small, segmented animals not only survived a 12-day orbital expedition, some members of the community felled by solar radiation actually recovered upon their return to Earth.

“How these animals were capable of reviving their body … remains a mystery,” said lead researcher Ingemar Jönsson, with Sweden’s Kristianstad University, who writes about the discovery in this week’s issue of Current Biology.

Most of the 3,000 creatures not only survived, but they went on to reproduce once they came back to Earth. About 12 percent of the animals exposed to ultraviolet radiation revived after being put back in water, a puzzling find since researchers presume the sterilizing rays broke down the tardigrades’ DNA. “This type of radiation cuts the DNA strand effectively in most organisms”

Related: Bacteria Frozen for 8 Million Years In Polar Ice ResuscitatedWhat is an Extremophile?posts on extremophiles

One Response to “Tardigrades In Space (TARDIS)”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Tardigrades
    January 27th, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    […] Tardigrades, UNC Chapel Hill – Tardigrades In Space (TARDIS) – What is an Extremophile? – Evolution, Methane, Jobs, Food and More by curiouscat   […]

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