Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique animal species can survive in space

09.09.2008
Water bears (tardigrades) are the first animals in the world to have survived exposure to the vacuum and radiation of space.

This has been established by Ingemar Jönsson, a researcher at Kristianstad University in Sweden.

It has been nearly a year since the ecologist Ingemar Jönsson had some 3,000 microscopic water bears sent up on a twelve-day space trip. The aim of the research project, which was supported by the European Space Agency, was to find out more about the basic physiology of tardigrades by seeing if they can survive in a space environment.

Now Ingemar Jönsson and his colleagues in Stockholm, Stuttgart, and Cologne are publishing their research findings, including an article in the international journal Current Biology.

"Our principal finding is that the space vacuum, which entails extreme dehydration, and cosmic radiation were not a problem for water bears. On the other hand, the ultraviolet radiation in space is harmful to water bears, although a few individual can even survive that," says Ingemar Jönsson.

The next challenge facing Ingemar Jönsson is to try to understand the mechanisms behind this exceptional tolerance in water bears. He suspects that even the water bears that got through the space trip without any trouble may in fact have incurred DNA damage, but that the animals managed to repair this damage.

"All knowledge involving the repair of genetic damage is central to the field of medicine," says Ingemar.

"One problem with radiation therapy in treating cancer today is that healthy cells are also harmed. If we can document and show that there are special molecules involved in DNA repair in multicellular animals like tardigrades, we might be able to further the development of radiation therapy."

Tardigrades survive exposure to space in low Earth orbit
K. Ingemar Jönsson, Elke Rabbow, Ralph O. Schill, Mats Harms-Ringdahl, and Petra Rettberg

Current Biology, Vol 18, R729-R731, 09 September 2008

Ingemar Jönsson can be reached at phone: +46-(0)70 2666 541 or e-mail at: ingemar.jonsson@hkr.se

Pressofficer Lisa Nordenhem, lisa.nordenhem@hkr.se; +46-703 176578
Water bear facts
Water bears (tardigrades) are multicellular, invertebrate animals about one millimeter in size. They exist in nearly all ecosystems of the world. What makes them unique is that they can survive repeated dehydration and can lose nearly all the water they have in their bodies. When dehydrated, they enter into a dormant state in which the body contracts and metabolism ceases. In this death-like dormant state, water bears manage to maintain the structures in their cells until water is available and they can be active again.

Ingemar Björklund | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.current-biology.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0960982208008051

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>