Researcher in Fundraising Drive for Study on Tardigrades (News)

Science Technology

Tsuruoka, Yamagata Pref., May 12 (Jiji Press)—Tolerant of extreme environments, such as temperatures of –273ºC and complete vacuums, tardigrades, commonly known as water bears, are called the strongest creatures on earth.

Horikawa Daiki, an assistant professor at Keio University’s Institute for Advanced Biosciences in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, is an avowed expert on water bears, having researched the creatures for more than 15 years.

Horikawa is currently promoting a crowdfunding drive to finance his research to unlock the mysteries of the micro-animal’s amazing strength.

Eight-legged tardigrades are mostly less than 1 millimeter in length. Over 1,200 different kinds have been discovered so far.

The most noteworthy feature of the creatures is their ability to enter a state of suspended animation called anhydrobiosis when they are dehydrated. Their metabolism restarts when they rehydrate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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