Indestructible Tardigrade – the Key to Radiation Shielding

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Rendering of a tardigrade, considered the toughest animal on Earth
Rendering of a tardigrade, considered the toughest animal on Earth

It takes something truly extraordinary, like maybe the death of the Sun, to kill the near-indestructible invertebrate known as the tardigrade. Crash-landings on the Moon, a lack of oxygen and conditions in the darkest corners of the ocean don’t appear pose a threat to this critter’s livelihood. Scientists studying these so-called water bears have uncovered a neat trick they employ to endure inhospitable conditions, using a unique protein to generate protective clouds around their DNA.

Tardigrades measure no more than a millimeter long, but possess an indomitability that would make even nature’s largest and hardiest creatures jealous. Key to their survival is an ability to enter a suspended and extremely dehydrated state of being called anhydrobiosis, in which their metabolism is put on hold until the surrounding conditions are more favorable to a regular life.

This capability has seen tardigrades endure temperatures as high as 150º C (302º F) and as low as -272º C (-457.6º F). It has seen them studied in the vacuum of space and exist amongst intense pressures at the bottom of the ocean. When an Israeli spacecraft carrying tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon in August, it inspired some dramatic headlines around the possibility of the near-indestructible creatures colonizing Earth’s only natural satellite.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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