Japanese Scientists Revive Tardigrade after 30 Years

Monday, January 18, 2016

Back to Life

Scientists from the Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research have successfully revived ‘tardigrade’ animal and brought it to life 30 years after it was frozen. Tardigrades are capable of slowing down or shutting down their metabolic activities for a considerable amount of time.

The findings published in the journal ‘Cryobiology’ reports that tardigrades were found among moss plants in Antarctica in 1983 after which, they were stored at –20° C. Scientists revived an egg and a living animal wherein, the latter began moving and consuming food after a fortnight. The egg, on the other hand, laid a total of 19 eggs, of which, 14 were successfully hatched. The newborns had no defects or anomalies.

Earlier, the tardigrades have been revived after nine years, but this is the first time that the creatures are revived after a gap of 30 years. Tardigrades, also known as ‘water bears’ or ‘moss piglets’ are miniscule water dwelling extremophiles measuring less than 1 mm in length and dwelling in extreme and hostile conditions.

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