Water Bears May Be Fruit of All Life

Vacuum (imposing extreme dehydration) and solar/galactic cosmic radiation prevent survival of most organisms in space [1]. Only anhydrobiotic organisms, which have evolved adaptations to survive more or less complete desiccation, have a potential to survive space vacuum, and few organisms can stand the unfiltered solar radiation in space. Tardigrades, commonly known as water-bears, are among the most desiccation and radiation-tolerant animals and have been shown to survive extreme levels of ionizing radiation [2, 3, 4]. Here, we show that tardigrades are also able to survive space vacuum without loss in survival, and that some specimens even recovered after combined exposure to space vacuum and solar radiation. These results add the first animal to the exclusive and short list of organisms that have survived such exposure.

Current Biology — Jönsson et al..

This is via Metafilter.

Water-bears can be seen here.

Tardigrade
Fossil range: Early Cambrian to Recent[1]
The tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini

The tardigrade Hypsibius

[full article]

I covered a bit of the concept of “Panspermia” in my Spore review.  This looks like a possible culprit, as the dang things can surive /scary voice/ the vacuum of spaaace1! /scary voice/.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s