Incredible water bears use ‘fluorescent shields’ to combat deadly radiation


Tardi-great! A new species of Tardigrade has been discovered that can use fluorescence as a UV shield.

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Tarigrades is practically inappropriate. Microscopic organisms, commonly referred to as “water bears”, can tolerate stress that will kill most other organisms. Space vacuum? No problem for Moss Piglets. Extreme pressure and temperature? Child’s game. Radiation? P.F.T. Tarigrades can deal with that too. They Probably survived a crash landing on the moon.

A new species discovered by scientists has its own protective superpower in a sample of algae grown on a concrete wall in Bengaluru, India: it can withstand ultraviolet (UV) radiation using a “fluorescent shield”.

In a study published in the Journal of Biology Letters on Tuesday, a team of Indian researchers examined a new species called Paramicrobiotus BLR. Knowing how resilient the creatures are, the team put them to the test. First, they found that the strain survived the disinfectant levels of UV radiation – within 24 hours, h. Enough to kill other less-hardy species of Tardigrad commonly used in experiments, known as Explaris.

UV radiation damages DNA, tears it up and kills and kills cells. But paramycrobiotics survived exposure for 30 days.

Researchers write that the next discovery was “accidental.” When studying organisms under UV light, they found that test tubes filled with paramicrobiotics BLR were glowing or “fluoroscoping” when H. There was no explorer tube. They argued that fluorescence would protect organisms from the dangerous effects of UV radiation.

To test whether fluorescence was related to UV shielding they “homogenized” 300 paramycrobiotics. Which is a nice, scientific way to say that they mix 300 organisms with some water in a tissue grinder. The resulting solution contains chemicals most commonly used as a UV shield by paramicrobiotics.

Scientists found the solution in a plate with microscopic worms and H. Exploreris added to Tardigrades, to determine if it would provide a protective effect. He did. Worms and Tarigrades showed survival rates after exposure to UV radiation that would normally kill them.

It remains to be determined whether the fluorescent chemical compound is being used by paramicrobiotics as BLR shale. Perhaps other proteins protect against UV radiation – and that homogeneity may also be present in the solution which had a protective effect.

Other known microorganisms use many tricks to deal with radiation. Bacteria such as Dinococcus radiodurans have developed their own mechanisms. Recent experiment on the International Space Station Microorganisms have shown that UV-induced DNA can repair damage quickly and bacterial pellets can survive exposure to UV radiation for up to three years. And fungi found near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Can feed on radiation, Turning it into a chemical into a state.

The research team believes that Tardigrade has developed its fluorescent shield to counter the high levels of UV radiation found in tropical South India. While other tardigrades have shown resistance to UV radiation, the mechanism for this protection has been elusive. Finding out which compounds are responsible for the protective effect can see the development of new sunscreens or materials that protect against the harmful effects of UV. Maybe we can even put our space suits in space degraded mud.