Water bear, an animal that is less than a millimeter in size can survive in the harshest of environment we can imagine on earth. It has eight legs and looks a little like a caterpillar. We are talking about Tardigrades, a micro-organism, commonly known as water bear that can be found almost anywhere in the forest, jungles, rivers, oceans, almost anywhere on earth.
Image from : Willow Gabriel, Goldstein Lab/Wikimedia Commons
It can withstand extremely cold temperatures of -458°F or −272°C or not withered under an extrememly hot temperature of 300°F or 150°C !! And not only that, imagine in our deepest oceans on earth, at the bottom of the ocean bed, these water bears can even take 6 times that water pressure!
It can survive radiation overdose that is hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for human beings.
And the best part, and this is what most survivalist likes, is that it can survive without food and water for more than 30 years!
Based on these information, a Tardigrades can probably survive in Mars (Surface Temperature : −67°F or −55°C) or even in Jupitar (Surface Temperature : 234 °F or 145 °C) !
It would be a miracle if Scientist could replicate the characteristics of the water bear, on a human cell. This would be a dream come true for all survivalist or even for the common people like us.
Well, we may be one step closer to this dream.
Scientist from Tokyo University found out why .
Here is an excerpt :
“A new study from Tokyo University has uncovered the secrets behind the ability of the microscopic animals called tardigrades, commonly known as “water bears,” to survive in some of the most extreme environmental conditions.
…….. It revealed that these microscopic animals have more copies of enzymes and genes responsible for counteracting oxidative stress and DNA repair. Furthermore, water bears also have a certain kind of protein capable of withstanding radiation……
For the study, the researchers conducted a genetic analysis of Ramazzottius variornatus, which is considered to be the toughest and most resilient species of tardigrades. The researchers observed that the genome of tardigrades have more copies of anti-oxidant enzymes and DNA-repair genes than any other animal. The anti-oxidant enzymes help counteract oxidative stress when the water bear is dehydrated, while the DNA-repair genes help in the recovery of damaged DNA……”
Here is the full article from Nature World News