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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Biologists have unraveled the secret of the hardiest creatures on Earth

Tardigrades, claiming the title of the hardiest living organisms on the planet that can avoid dehydrating and drying, turning into some kind of glass. This microscopic invertebrates also known as water bears, are unique set of proteins, according to experts from the University of North Carolina at chapel hill.

photo: ru.wikipedia.org

For quite some time tardigrades fascinate scientists because of its ability to survive even in very extreme conditions, whether it is cooled to -271 degrees Celsius (almost absolute zero), heated to 100 degrees Celsius, radiation dose, exceeding thousandfold critically dangerous to human performance, the atmosphere of hydrogen or carbon dioxide, the pressure to 600 atmospheres or conditions of outer space. Discover the animalcules professionals have in the hot springs, and under the ice. However, these underwater creatures and there is a protective mechanism to survive, even with drying out, falling into a sort of suspended animation. New research has allowed to find out exactly how this state is achieved and what it is.

According to researchers, a unique protein that protects animals from dehydration, do not have well-organized three-dimensional structure typical of most proteins, and resemble jelly, while the animal is in the water.

However, if water ceases to suffice, they allow you to turn into a sort of “glass”. easily drying parts of the body tardigrades. This allows you to keep the body, prevent decay, or, on the contrary in “adhesion” of its parts. Once in the water, the tardigrades come alive and return to its normal state in about an hour.

Experts also managed to identify genes responsible for the launch of this protective mechanism, and disabling these genes have deprived the animals ability to avoid dehydration.

A study published in the journal Molecular Cell.


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