APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

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APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:06 am

Image Tardigrade in Moss

Explanation: Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA and reduce their body water content to a few percent. Some of these miniature water-bears almost became extraterrestrials recently when they were launched toward to the Martian moon Phobos on board the Russian mission Fobos-Grunt, but stayed terrestrial when a rocket failed and the capsule remained in Earth orbit. Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth. Pictured above in a color-enhanced electron micrograph, a millimeter-long tardigrade crawls on moss.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Mactavish » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:20 am

I can't wait to see the replies this one will stir up!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby bystander » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:24 am

I can. Good night!
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Beyond » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:46 am

SUPER CRITTERS :!: :!:
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:23 am

At first glance I did not know what to make of it. The round spigot thing in the front looks like a hose attachment, or something. Like something out of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Maybe we should MIMIC this little animal with our spacesuits, and even VEHICLES. Sort of a rumply, flexible thing.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:26 am

Next on Sci-fi Theater...."Godzilla vs Tardigrade: The Microscopic Monster"....how will Godzilla defeat this super small, super surviving menace???

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Last edited by Boomer12k on Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:27 am

Oh....that is what it reminds me of....a VACUUM CLEANER BAG!!!!! Got it....


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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:31 am

Oh, great...they are in orbit...being irradiated. When the orbit decays, and the capsule comes back to Earth, they will have SURVIVED and MUTATED and it will then take, GODZILLA, RODAN, and MOTHRA TO DEFEAT THEM!!!!!
JUST GREAT!!!!!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Boomer12k » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:32 am

Sorry....I am in the midst of watching all of the Godzilla movies....so, I am a little fixated....

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Science-Guy

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Science-Guy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:45 am

Amazing creatures. I recently did a timelapse video of waterbears emerging from their dormant state "tuns".
I was amazed how fast they became active. I set the time lapse camera to go for 3 hours but they were already very active at less than 20 minutes !
http://youtu.be/rE-6c45DaiI

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby ChrisKotsiopoulos » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:55 am

They look quite dangerous...
Have a look here.
:mrgreen:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby starstruck » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:07 am

So that's where one of the inflatables that slipped it's tether at a Pink Floyd gig sometime in the nineties got to!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Ann » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:54 am

Boomer12k wrote:
Oh....that is what it reminds me of....a VACUUM CLEANER BAG!!!!! Got it....

:lol2: :lol2: :yes:

starstruck wrote:
So that's where one of the inflatables that slipped it's tether at a Pink Floyd gig sometime in the nineties got to!

:lol2: :lol2: :yes:

But they do look a bit like like little bears sometimes, too!

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deathfleer

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby deathfleer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:27 am

I cannot believe in evolution.
such nano technology at nano scale!!!!!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby owlice » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:53 am

.... whereas I have no problem believing (and even thinking) these creatures are a product of evolution.

Mactavish and bystander -- lol!!

These are the cutest little vacuum-cleaner-bag-headed creatures I've ever seen; I'm glad they are really little and not, ya know, big and after human flesh. That would definitely make them fall out of the cute category.

Science-Guy, thanks for the video; very cool!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby MargaritaMc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:25 am

owlice wrote:....

Science-Guy, thanks for the video; very cool!


I nearly missed the video link - oh, super-WOW :!:

SO I am linking it here
Click to play embedded YouTube video.


Is there any possibility of us having a Smiley of a tardigrade? :derp:
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby MargaritaMc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:31 am

Please note the Swedish connection...

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abs ... 60-9822(08)00805-1
Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 17, R729-R731, 9 September 2008
Tardigrades survive exposure to space in low Earth orbit

K. Ingemar Jönsson1, ,  , Elke Rabbow2, Ralph O. Schill3, Mats Harms-Ringdahl4 and Petra Rettberg2

1 Department of Mathematics and Science, Aquatic Biology and Chemistry Group, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
2 Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Division, DLR, Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln, Germany
3 Department of Zoology, Biological Institute, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
4 Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Corresponding author


Summary

Vacuum (imposing extreme dehydration) and solar/galactic cosmic radiation prevent survival of most organisms in space [1]. Only anhydrobiotic organisms, which have evolved adaptations to survive more or less complete desiccation, have a potential to survive space vacuum, and few organisms can stand the unfiltered solar radiation in space. Tardigrades, commonly known as water-bears, are among the most desiccation and radiation-tolerant animals and have been shown to survive extreme levels of ionizing radiation [2,3,4]. Here, we show that tardigrades are also able to survive space vacuum without loss in survival, and that some specimens even recovered after combined exposure to space vacuum and solar radiation. These results add the first animal to the exclusive and short list of organisms that have survived such exposure.
 
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby MargaritaMc » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:49 am

In the video by the Science Show, panspermia is mentioned in relation to tardigrades' unexpected ability to survive in space.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia
Panspermia (Greek: πανσπερμία from πᾶς/πᾶν (pas/pan) "all" and σπέρμα (sperma) "seed") is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and planetoids.[1] In a National Institutes of Health study, the authors hypothesize that if biological complexity increased exponentially during evolution, life in the universe may have begun "10 billion years ago"[2] - more than 5 billion years before the Earth existed.

... Sir Fred Hoyle (1915–2001) and Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 1939) were influential proponents of panspermia. In 1974 they proposed the hypothesis that some dust in interstellar space was largely organic (containing carbon), which Wickramasinghe later proved to be correct.[8] Hoyle and Wickramasinghe further contended that life forms continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and the genetic novelty necessary for macroevolution.[9] In a virtual presentation on April 7, 2009, physicist Stephen Hawking endorsed the hypothesis.[10]

....The related but distinct idea of 'exogenesis' (Greek: ἔξω (exo, "outside") and γένεσις (genesis, "origin")) is a more limited hypothesis that proposes life on Earth was transferred from elsewhere in the Universe but makes no prediction about how widespread it is....

Panspermia does not necessarily suggest that life originated only once and subsequently spread through the entire Universe, but instead that once started, it may be able to spread to other environments suitable for replication. There is as yet no evidence to support or contradict panspermia, although the majority view holds that panspermia – especially in its interstellar form – is unlikely given the challenges of survival and transport in space.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Ann » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:03 am

Both videos are very interesting. Thanks!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby ignacio_db » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:26 pm

Now, seriously, what is that hose thing? It's mouth? Or is the poor creature being experimented on?

It looks metallic, so wierd!

Ignacio

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby edibleplantguy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:53 pm

Given how interesting these creatures are, a little more care might have been given to finding a picture that did not have the 'head' collapsed by less than stellar preparation technique.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby smitty » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:11 pm

Can anyone explain the rationale for attempting intentionally to send tardigrades to Phobos? At first glance, this sounds to me like a very bad idea! Had it succeeded, then if/when we find extraterrestrial life how will we know from whence it came? Maybe there already are (native) tardigrades on Phobos! Maybe the ones on earth originated there! If we send some there intentionally, how will we ever know?

In the past, we've always been meticulous to avoid contaminating extraterrestrial bodies we've visited, or at least so I thought. So what gives with this Russian Fobos-Grunt mission, and was it approved by any international scientific body?

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Moonlady » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:39 pm

ChrisKotsiopoulos wrote:They look quite dangerous...
Have a look here.
:mrgreen:


:lol2: :lol2: :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby doppelkeks » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:38 pm

Small wonder it can survive in space. Don't you see it is wearing a spacesuit!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2013 Mar 06)

Postby Psnarf » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:29 pm

:chomp: Aww, aren't tardigrades cute. What was that Star Trek TOS episode with the salt creature McCoy fancied?
Can't wait to see what appears on APOD 1APR13.
Sew! what do you have to do to kill them pesky critters? Are they tasty when sauteed with a bit of virgin olive oil and crushed garlic? :chomp:


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