Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tardigrades Genome Reveals Unique Adaptations

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are microscopic organisms that known for their survival skills. They have been found in Antarctica, in hot springs, in the Himalayas and have even survived being in outer space. They can enter a state of extreme hibernation, where in some cases, all the water is evaporated out of their bodies and they wake up years later completely intact. Researchers are interested in plumbing their genome for the secrets to their resilience, Japanese scientists decided to sequence the genome of a different species of water bear, Ramazzottius varieornatus. Both Tardigrades genomes are almost completely unique, it is said that only 1.2 percent of their genes are the result of HGT. The researchers found several genome sequences that allowed them to survive these harsh conditions. They took their research a step further and compared it to human DNA, but couldn't find any connections in the sequence they ran through, they are still looking though.

1 comment:

  1. Water bears are such fascinating creatures. I first heard about them while watching an old show on Animal Planet called Most Extreme. After looking at this article, it is very interesting to have an insight into how the water bear can survive such incredible conditions. Knowing what I do now about genetics makes this all the more intriguing.