Cryptobiosis and environmental stress tolerance in tardigrades
|Målgruppe:||Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, Biochemistry|
Tardigrades or water bears [in Danish: Bjørnedyr] are microscopic animals living in a range of habitats across the globe. These small animals are famous for their ability to survive extreme conditions, such as desiccation, freezing, large variations in external salt concentrations, oxygen depletion over extended periods, as well as journeys outside Earth’s protective atmosphere. Tardigrades can respond to extreme conditions by entering a state of latent life called cryptobiosis, in which metabolism is believed to have come to a reversible standstill. Even in their active states tardigrades may be extremely tolerant to environmental stress, handling extreme levels of ionizing radiation, large fluctuations in external salinity and avoiding freezing by supercooling.
|Keywords:||Extreme environments, Cryptobiosis, Stress, Osmoregulation, Comparative biology|