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Thursday, February 17, 2011

"A slide was opened to expose them to the vacuum and the cold. Some were also subjected to the Sun's UV rays which are 1,000 times stronger in space than on Earth and, incredibly, survived for the return trip. They continued to breed successfully"

What could possibly go wrong with this

They are the toughest animals on the planet - and now scientists have discovered that they can even survive in space.
The tiny creatures, known as tardigrades or water bears, are certainly strange-looking with their eight chubby legs, little claws and probing heads.


Tardigrades

Tardigrades or 'water bears' are the toughest creatures on the planet

In fact, they can be completely dried out for years - and then spring back to life as if nothing had happened.'

Dr Jonsson believes that even if they suffered DNA damage, the little water bears could somehow repair it. The next challenge is to try to understand the creatures' 'exceptional tolerance' to extreme conditions, he said. It could help scientists learn how to treat cancer.
'All knowledge involving the repair of genetic damage is central to the field of medicine,' Dr Jonsson said.

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