Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Animal survives in space

A relatively complex animal, only 1.5mm long but nonetheless an antropod sporting six legs, is able to survive unprotected in the harshest known environment - outer space.
Scientists knew tardigrades, often called "water bears," were hardy little creatures, able to survive complete dehydration by going into an unusual dormant state. But no one quite understands how some tardigrades deliberately exposed to the space environment by ESA researchers pulled through and were even happy to breed on returning to Earth after being faced with the unfiltered UV radiation of the sun as well as temperature extremes and vacuum.

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