Thursday, 7 January 2016

The Biological Wonders Of Tardigrades

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Tardigrades - known affectionately as water bears or moss piglets - have pretty much got it all. These microscopic invertebrates are capable of surviving the most extreme conditions you could dream up, including prolonged desiccation and near-100% water loss, freezing and boiling temperatures, intense ionising radiation, and the vacuum of outer space.

Tardigardes produce a special type of 'bioglass' to hold essential proteins and molecules together until they're rehydrated back to life. Now scientists are figuring out how to use this mechanism to develop drought-resistant crops and longer-lasting vaccines.

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