Tardigrade

This one millimeter animal can survive both the hottest and coldest environments on earth and can even withstand high levels of radiation. It’s one of the toughest creatures on the earth. Even if it does look more life a chubby eight-legged gummy bear. Most organisms need water to survive. Water allow metabolism to happen which is the process that drives all the biochemical reaction that take the places in cells. But creatures like the tardigrade also know as the water bear get around this restriction with a process called anhydrobiosis from greek meaning life without water and however extraordinary tardigrades aren’t alone.Bacteria, single-celled, organisms, called archaea plants and even other animals can all survive drying up.For many tardigrades this requires that they go trough something called an tun state.They curl up in to a ball pulling their head and eight legs inside their body and wait until waters returns.It’s thought that as water becomes scarce and tardigrades enter their tun state they starts synthesize special molecules which fill the tardigrades cells to replace lost water by forming a matrix.Components of the cells that are sensitive to sensitive to dryness like DNA, proteins and membranes get trapped in this matrix.It’s though that this keeps these molecules locked in position to stop them from unfolding, breaking apart or fusing together.Once the organism is rehydrated the matrix dissolves leaving behind undamaged functional cells.Beyond dryness tardigrades can also tolerate other extreme stresses.Being frozen heated up past the boiling point of water high levels of radiation and even the vacuum of outer space.This has led to some erroneous speculation that tardigrades are extraterrestrial beings.While that fun to think about, scientific evidence places their origin firmly on earth where they ‘ve evolved over time.İn fact, this earthly evolution has given rise to over 1100 know species of tardigrades and there are probably many others yet to be discovered and because tardigrades are so hardly, they exist just about everywhere.They live on every continent including Antarctica and they ‘re in diverse biomes including deserts, ice sheets, the sea, fresh water, rainforests and the highest mountain peaks.But you can find tardigrades in the most ordinary places, too like moss  or lichen found in the yard, parks and forests. All you need to find them is a little patience and a microscope.Scientists are now to trying to find out whether tardigrades use the tun state, their anti-drying technics to survive other stresses.If we can understand how, they and other creatures, stabilize their sensitive biological molecules, perhaps we could apply this knowledge to help us stabilize vaccines or to develop stress-tolerant crops than can cope with earth changing climate.And by studying how tardigrades survive prolonged exposure to the vacuum of outer space, scientists can generate clues about the environmental  limits of life and how to safeguard astronauts.İn the process, tardigrades could even help us answer a critical question could life survive on planets much less hospitable than our own?

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