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the incredible way tardigrades survive total dehydration


a scanning electron micrograph image of six tardigrades in their dehydrated state. when tardigrades dry out they retract their legs and heads within their cuticle forming a ball like shape known as a “tun.” (image: t. c. boothby)tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are probably the toughest microscopic creatures on the planet, capable of surviving freezing, radiation, and even the vacuum of space. they’re also able to withstand complete dehydration—and scientists have finally figured out how they do it. advertisementresearchers from the university of north carolina, chapel hill, have discovered a unique set of proteins, now known as tardigrade-specific intrinsically disordered proteins (tdps), that turns parts of the tardigrade’s body into a glass-like substance when it dries out, pro






these animals can survive until the end of the earth, astrophysicists say


tardigrades have a reputation as the toughest animals on the planet. some of these microscopic invertebrates shrug off temperatures of minus 272 celsius, one degree warmer than absolute zero. other species can endure powerful radiation and the vacuum of space. in 2007, the european space agency sent 3,000 animals into low earth orbit, where the tardigrades survived for 12 days on the outside of the capsule.to a group of theoretical physicists, tardigrades were the perfect specimens to test life’s tenacity. “life is pretty fragile if all your estimates are based on humans or dinosaurs,” said david sloan, a theoretical cosmologist at oxford university in britain.the tardigrade lineage is ancient. “tardigrade microfossils are reported from the early cambrian to the early cretaceous, 520 milli






meet the hideous creature that will live to the end of the world


tardigrades — the world's most indestructible species — will survive until the sun dies, according to a study released friday.        






google's aborted ara phone was supposed to launch with an aquarium module full o


back in 2014, google announced project ara, a click-in/click-out modular concept-phone that you could customize by adding or removing modules as you saw fit. the project is -- alas -- dead, but it nearly came to fruition. there was a whole launch-plan complete with a planned retail shop in la. as part of the pr push, google hired avant-garde design studio midnight commercial to create "the weirdest possible module for this thing." midnight commercial mooted some strange plans: a touch-transmitting haptic module, access to a private "luxury" satellite, an ink-spraying graffiti module. but they settled on a tiny, magnified aquarium full of tardigrades, the legendarily hardy microscopic organisms that are sometimes called "water bears" because of their silhouette and little claws. water bears






8-legged extremophile freaks will outlive humanity (& maybe the sun)


the eight-legged micro-animal called a tardigrade could survive nearly all the way until the death of the sun, a new study suggests — long after humans are history. the study, from harvard and oxford universities, detailed the threats to life on earth over billions of years, finding that earth-pummeling asteroids, nearby supernova blasts and gamma-ray bursts would be unlikely to completely sterilize earth (taking out the little tardigrades in the process). tardigrades, which are usually less than a millimeter long (0.04 inches), are nearly indestructible, some of the most resilient forms of life on earth. they can survive for up to 30 years without eating, and can be frozen, boiled, squished under intense pressure, and exposed to the vacuum and radiation of space without ill effect. the an






8-legged extremophile freaks will outlive humanity (& maybe the sun)


the eight-legged micro-animal called a tardigrade could survive nearly all the way until the death of the sun, a new study suggests — long after humans are history. the study, from harvard and oxford universities, detailed the threats to life on earth over billions of years, finding that earth-pummeling asteroids, nearby supernova blasts and gamma-ray bursts would be unlikely to completely sterilize earth (taking out the little tardigrades in the process). tardigrades, which are usually less than a millimeter long (0.04 inches), are nearly indestructible, some of the most resilient forms of life on earth. they can survive for up to 30 years without eating, and can be frozen, boiled, squished under intense pressure, and exposed to the vacuum and radiation of space without ill effect. the an






how tardigrades survive extreme conditions / boing boing


pdfs are a double-edged sword. on one hand, even the most tech-averse can easily open and print them out without screwing anything up, making them the quintessential format for sharing documents. but if you’re sharing pdfs back and forth a lot, their shortcomings become apparent pretty quickly. because they are optimized for paper printing, modifying […]






how tardigrades survive extreme conditions / boing boing


tardigrades, the tiny creatures also known as water bears, are a house favorite at boing boing. able to survive in the most extreme conditions, from alcohol immersion to empty space, their resilience poses difficult scientific questions. scientists believe they've found the answer, and have published their findings in molecular cell.wired's matt simon writes: ...researchers claim they’ve found an exclusively tardigradean protein that the creature produces, forming it into a glass bead. it’s in this state that the water bear can pull off such extreme feats of survival—which might be very convenient for human medicine one day. the problem with the [earlier] trehalose theory, as it turned out, was that while many other organisms like nematode worms and brine shrimp use it to survive desiccati






how tardigrades survive extreme conditions / boing boing


for newcomers to programming, deciding which language to learn first can be tough. beginner-oriented languages can have limited power, making them hard to sustain long-term. fortunately, one of the most popular languages around, python, is both incredibly powerful and easy for novices to pick up.in this python bundle, you will grow your programming skills by […]






watch skateboarders skate on frozen sand / boing boing


tardigrades, the tiny creatures also known as water bears, are a house favorite at boing boing. able to survive in the most extreme conditions, from alcohol immersion to empty space, their resilience poses difficult scientific questions. scientists believe they’ve found the answer, and have published their findings in molecular cell. wired’s matt simon writes: …researchers […]every year, bruce sterling closes the sxsw interactive festival with a wide-ranging, hour-long speech about the state of the nation: the format is 20 minutes’ worth of riffing on current affairs, and then 40 minutes of main thesis, scorchingly delivered, with insights, rage, inspiration and calls to action.for newcomers to programming, deciding which language to learn first can be tough. beginner-oriented languages ca






sign is accurate. swan is aggressive. / boing boing


according to the guy who shot this with a brazilian potato-cam, the boa constrictor attacked a porcupine, which managed to escape after leaving a few hundred spines in its attacker.tardigrades, the tiny creatures also known as water bears, are a house favorite at boing boing. able to survive in the most extreme conditions, from alcohol immersion to empty space, their resilience poses difficult scientific questions. scientists believe they’ve found the answer, and have published their findings in molecular cell. wired’s matt simon writes: …researchers […]south american polka dot tree frogs are pretty cool, but julián faivovich and carlos taboada found out they are even cooler when an ultraviolet flashlight is trained on them. they fluoresce. many animals can see beyond the spectrum visible






sign is accurate. swan is aggressive. / boing boing


according to the guy who shot this with a brazilian potato-cam, the boa constrictor attacked a porcupine, which managed to escape after leaving a few hundred spines in its attacker.tardigrades, the tiny creatures also known as water bears, are a house favorite at boing boing. able to survive in the most extreme conditions, from alcohol immersion to empty space, their resilience poses difficult scientific questions. scientists believe they’ve found the answer, and have published their findings in molecular cell. wired’s matt simon writes: …researchers […]south american polka dot tree frogs are pretty cool, but julián faivovich and carlos taboada found out they are even cooler when an ultraviolet flashlight is trained on them. they fluoresce. many animals can see beyond the spectrum visible






google's project ara was going to offer a tardigrade aquarium module


gif gif: dr. ralf wagnergoogle’s project ara modular smartphone was a weird concept that didn’t make it to market. the idea was to give users the option to change out custom modules for upgrades and odd individual features. a new report reveals that one of the most unusual modules would’ve featured a personal tardigrade aquarium. google has reportedly killed its long-delayed, much-hyped modular smartphone initiative, project… read more read moreventurebeat has taken a look back at all that could’ve been if project ara had made it past the prototype stage. an e-ink display with weather updates, a high-quality microphone, and a breath mint dispenser were among the novelty modules that would be optional. but google wanted to commission something that would make an impression and get people ta






google's project ara was going to offer a tardigrade aquarium module


gif gif: dr. ralf wagnergoogle’s project ara modular smartphone was a weird concept that didn’t make it to market. the idea was to give users the option to change out custom modules for upgrades and odd individual features. a new report reveals that one of the most unusual modules would’ve featured a personal tardigrade aquarium. google has reportedly killed its long-delayed, much-hyped modular smartphone initiative, project… read more read moreventurebeat has taken a look back at all that could’ve been if project ara had made it past the prototype stage. an e-ink display with weather updates, a high-quality microphone, and a breath mint dispenser were among the novelty modules that would be optional. but google wanted to commission something that would make an impression and get people ta






ancient "naked" worm fossil "one of the oddest" ever found in the burgess shale


about 500 million years ago, a squishy, thumb-size sea creature did a little dance — waving its upper limbs around in the ocean in a never-ending attempt to ensnarl some tasty morsels floating by.an illustration showing the many legs of ovatiovermis cribratus. danielle dufault/royal ontario museum, copyright royal ontario museum researchers found the remains of this newly identified critter in the burgess shale deposit, a world-famous area in the canadian rockies that’s brimming with animal fossils from the  brian period (540 million to 490 million years ago).“the burgess shale is certainly no stranger of already bizarre-looking creatures, but this new species is certainly one of the oddest,” said study lead researcher jean-bernard caron, the senior curator of invertebrate paleontology at






freakishly resilient plants managed to survive a 450-day ordeal in outer space


the algae were mounted in trays and then exposed to space outside of the iss for 18 months. (image: esa)in an experiment conducted on the international space station, two different types of naturally-occurring algae were exposed to the extreme conditions of space. incredibly, both strains survived. it’s a finding that could further our understanding of how life originated on earth, and how colonists might be able to sustain themselves on mars. advertisementthe subjects of the experiment, which was organized by researchers from the fraunhofer institute for cell the y and immunology izi in potsdam, germany, were a group of cryophilic, or “cold loving,” plants. after being subjected to wild temperature fluctuations, a near total vacuum, and blasts of cosmic radiation for 18 months, all but on






this 500-million-year-old sea creature boggles the imagination


gif computer animation showing the filter-feeding behavior of the newly discovered lobopodian. (credit: jean-bernard caron et al., 2017)a stubbly, worm-like creature featuring as many as 30 limbs combed the seafloor during the early brian period, according to new research. its bizarre appearance and feeding behavior are unlike anything ever seen before.advertisementresearchers digging in british columbia’s burgess shale have uncovered the fossilized remains of a 500 million-year-old lobopodian. named ovatiovermis cribratus, the newly described animal was only a few inches tall, and filter-fed by waving its body back and forth to scoop up tiny prey. given its extreme age and unique physical characteristics, scientists say it’s one of the earliest examples of arthropods in the fossil record—