Animal that can survive in the vacuum of space


09/09/2008

To a surprising result led the recent experiment of the European Space Agency (ESA). In the space were launched tardigrades - tiny invertebrates are known for their ability to survive in extreme conditions. Scientists have found that these animals are able to survive the low pressure and intense radiation of outer space.

Tardigrades (Water bears, tardigrades) are known for their invulnerability on Earth. These creatures are able to tolerate extreme pressure, massive doses of radiation and years in the dried state, without any harm to life.

Usually the size of tardigrades is about 1.5 mm. They live in wet mosses and lichens, and are able to enter a state of suspended animation with a deterioration of environmental conditions - such as drought - but subsequently recover their livelihoods.

The experiment was started in 2007. To test the endurance of tardigrades researchers from the Swedish University of Kristianshdadta (Kristianstad University) led by Ingemar Jonsson (K. Ingemar Jonsson) launched into space aboard the orbiting laboratory automatic "Foton M3" are two varieties of dried tardigrades.

After 10 days in the open space the animals returned to Earth. Tardigrades have undergone rehydration.

The result showed that the vacuum in itself, does not affect the health of living beings. But ultraviolet radiation, which can damage cellular material and DNA, yet had its adverse effects.

In one of the two species 68% of the specimens, which were covered by solar radiation were recovered within 30 minutes after rehydration. Many of them even went on to lay eggs that successfully hatched out.

But only a handful of other groups of animals survived the brutal impact of space radiation, which is more than 1,000 times stronger than the Earth’s surface.

Researchers believe particularly unexpected ability of living organisms survive exposure rigid outer ultraviolet radiation which destroys not only living tissue, but also extremely harmful affects on the DNA. Just for you the most interesting news on the pages of our portal.


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