Nukewatch Quarterly Winter 2016-2017
“Tardigrades, eight-legged microscopic animals that resemble obese caterpillars, can survive temperatures close to absolute zero [negative 459.67 degrees F] and live after being baked at 300 degrees.
“They can go without food or water for as long as 30 years, yet live to reproduce again. They have even survived in the vacuum of outer space….
“[N]ow Japanese researchers have found a unique protein in tardigrade cells that confers an ability to tolerate doses of radiation that would kill most other animals.
“They transferred this protein to human cells and found it makes them, too, highly resistant to X-rays. Someday, the researchers believe, the finding may have practical application in protecting humans from the harmful effects of radiation, perhaps even limiting the damaging side effects of radiotherapy.”
— Nichilas Bakalar, New York Times, Sept. 26, 2016