The hardest animal on earth is the tardigrades, which are also known as water bears or moss piglets. Tardigrades are small eight legged creatures that live in mosses that are in small bodies of water. These animals are known for their ability to live through extreme conditions, such as: 100 degrees Celsius, in space, being frozen for several years, etc… This creature can also withstand more radiation than most creatures on planet Earth. Water bears do this by forming an envelope of protein around their DNA called Damage suppressors or Dsup for short. The Dsup appears to work by physically cuddling up to DNA and cocooning it from harm, but without disrupting its normal functions. Human cells were genetically engineered to create Dsup and it protected the DNA as well. This is the first identification of a DNA-associating protein which gives DNA protection and improved tolerance to radioactivity in animal cells.
The full article can be found on new scientist, here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2106468-worlds-hardiest-animal-has-evolved-radiation-shield-for-its-dna/
Author: Sophia Kudratov
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