From the Depths of Water to Space: Scientists Are Stress Testing Tardigrades

What changes occur in their DNA after living under extreme conditions?
Loukia Papadopoulos

Tardigrades are cute little buggers that have managed to survive in some of the most extremes environments known to man. These adorable little creatures have been shot out of a gun, frozen nearly to absolute zero, and exposed to the vacuum of space for ten days.

Scientists know that they are very tough. What they haven't quite figured out yet is how they do that. That's why now they have embarked on two new tardigrade experiments that see the creatures once more sent to space and deep into a lagoon. The scientists will then be able to compare how the tardigrades cope with these two extreme environments.

Deep into the lagoon, the tardigrades start to feel the weight of the added pressure. After about 12 hours the scientists report that the creatures are a lot more sluggish and are compressing a little bit. Clearly, the pressure is affecting them.

What tests do the scientists run next? What tests do they also run in outer space? How do the tardigrades respond to the space environment? Do they all survive these extremes? This video answers all these questions and more and brings you footage of the tardigrades in these extreme environments.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board