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Harness the Powers of the Tardigrade. Freeze Dry Yourself to the Future!

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posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 01:48 PM
Ever wanted to be a Super Hero? I'm not talking about leaping tall buildings in a single bound. I'm talking about being able to withstand large amounts of radiation or preserving yourself for crazy amounts of time. Imagine deciding to make massive leaps in time just by freeze drying yourself and waking up 2000 years later! I mean... as long as there is a 2000 years later. I would hate to wake up one day and realize there was no one left on earth... but then, being able to withstand high doses of radiation, nuclear wars might not be THAT bothersome? long as you don't take a direct hit?

Wouldn't it be cool to be able to withstand temps from 300F to near Absolute Zero!?! Maybe even possibly withstand the pressures of the deepest trenches of the oceans...

I'm talking about having the powers of the Tardigrade! Such a cute, tiny, invisible little guy... right?

Published Paper Here
Posted at Science Alert

First let's focus on a few of their kick arse... ehem... Powers:

Tiny tardigrades - also known as water bears and moss piglets - have many strange properties, including being able to withstand huge amounts of radiation, temperatures ranging from 150°C (302°F) to near absolute zero, and pressures six times greater than in the deepest ocean trenches

They can be brought to life after being frozen solid for decades.....tardigrades are impossibly weird and indestructible......

That's 6000X atmospheric pressure!!

Another Source about these bug.... errr bears:

Facts Legend

Scientists have found out that the lethal dose of Gamma Rays to kill Tardigrades is 5,000 Gy while the lethal dose of heavy ions is 6,200 Gy. For humans, 5-10 Gy is lethal

They can survive in the most hostile environment known to human – the space!

They can survive high toxic environmental conditions for years by entering a state known as chemobiosis.

Now, since I've had a little fun with this lil guy... on to the original news article:

Once upon a time it was believed:

It was assumed that their survival relied on a sugar called trehalose, which is what brine shrimps - or sea monkeys - use to preserve their cells during desiccation.

But research has shown that trehalose levels are much lower in dried-out tardigrades than they are in brine shrimp, so that couldn't be the solution.

So how do they really do it?

tardigrades produce a special type of 'bioglass' that holds their essential proteins and molecules in a suspended state until they're rehydrated back to life.

So water bears coat themselves in living glass when they're dried out, and plain old water will melt their proteins back to normal and snap them out of suspended animation.

So what's so cool about all of this anyways?

Since identifying the proteins responsible for the production of this bioglass, called intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), Boothby and his team have figured out that they could engineer other creatures to carry these proteins and survive desiccation themselves.

When the team inserted these genes into living yeast and bacteria, they found that the TDPs protected them from extreme desiccation just like the tardigrades.

Yeah, that's all cool and such but surely not for humans?

The team's results have now officially been published, which means we have the proof-of-concept in hand to go and make this tardigrade superpower work for us.

And when I say "us", it's actually a possibility, because while yeast and bacteria aren't the most exciting organisms in the world, there are hints that TDPs could work in larger, more complex creatures too.

When the team decided to express the gene that controls IDP production in specially engineered human epithelial cells (HeLa), they found that it produced bioglass upon desiccation.

And a separate experiment last year also found that the protein that protects tardigrades from crazy amounts of radiation can be transferred to cultures of human cells, which really does send the mind boggling.

Ok, so, it has other cool features too....

Other potential applications include developing crops that can survive severe, long-lasting droughts, or even medications that can finally be stored at room temperature instead of having to be constantly chilled - something that makes supply in remote and developing communities extremely difficult.

"Being able to stabilise sensitive pharmaceuticals in a dry state is very important to me personally," says Boothby.

Dun Dun Tah Dah Dah........ Captain Tardigrade!

edit on 17-3-2017 by StallionDuck because: I should really proof read my work...

posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 02:40 PM
This is amazing, i won't hold my breath for me being in a position to benefit from this sort of stuff in my life time but my Son...absolutely.

Just think what this could do for space travel, if we never achieve the speeds needed to get around quickly up there surly this has to be the next best alternative?

posted on Mar, 17 2017 @ 04:05 PM
Cool thread and yeah wouldn't mind being able to withstand nuclear radiation etc, 2000 years in the future suspended in animation on Ice... Waking up a sort of "man of steel" I'd love it.

How much does this cost again? probably way out my budget... That doesn't exist lol.

posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 02:41 AM
a reply to: StallionDuck

So, life in outer space and everywhere, even on supposedly dead Mars, has been given a great bump up toward previously unknown, unsuspected even impossible possibilities.

posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 01:30 PM
Sucks I will be dead before this is used.

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