APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

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APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun May 21, 2023 4:05 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 in 2011 when they were launched toward to the Martian moon Phobos, and again in 2021 when they were launched toward Earth's own moon, but the former launch failed, and the latter landing crashed. Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth. Pictured here in a color-enhanced electron micrograph, a millimeter-long tardigrade crawls on moss.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by zendae » Sun May 21, 2023 4:43 am

Their Achilles heel though are sustained high temperatures. Even desiccated tardigrades of the toughest species will succumb to sustained temps above 100C. So it is still the seeds of certain plants that will win the ultimate heat race, as tardigrades cannot withstand fire, while seeds can. Nevertheless, both can become lunch in a blink of an eye.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Ann » Sun May 21, 2023 5:37 am


Wait... isn't that the full dust bag from my vacuum cleaner that I threw away just the other day? Has it grown arms and legs? (How many arms and legs, please?) And claws? :?

But note that you could still insert the vacuum hose in that opening. Just give it a good twist and it will stay there! :D

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Sun May 21, 2023 6:00 am

zendae wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 4:43 am Their Achilles heel though are sustained high temperatures. Even desiccated tardigrades of the toughest species will succumb to sustained temps above 100C. So it is still the seeds of certain plants that will win the ultimate heat race, as tardigrades cannot withstand fire, while seeds can. Nevertheless, both can become lunch in a blink of an eye.
Can we digest these creatures? Do we actually eat them without realizing that?

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Sun May 21, 2023 6:03 am

Ann wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 5:37 am

Wait... isn't that the full dust bag from my vacuum cleaner that I threw away just the other day? Has it grown arms and legs? (How many arms and legs, please?) And claws? :?

But note that you could still insert the vacuum hose in that opening. Just give it a good twist and it will stay there! :D

Ann
I wonder what's that opening for. Eating maybe? or maybe that hole does the whole job of digestion? Or maybe something else? Or maybe it's just like the vacuum cleaner and cleans everything around??

MarkEt

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by MarkEt » Sun May 21, 2023 7:25 am

Looks like it was built in a lab

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by AVAO » Sun May 21, 2023 7:48 am

APOD Robot wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 4:05 am Image Tardigrade in Moss
Sending tardigrades to the stars
Image
https://phys.org/news/2022-01-tardigrades-stars.html
Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara


Greetings from space :wink:
Image
A dense clump of dust in the Carina Nebula, sculpted by intense radiation of newborn stars, looks like a giant space tardigrade. Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Evenstar » Sun May 21, 2023 8:57 am

Like any alien toward another alien--what is its anatomy? It might be an interesting though horrifying read to learn of all the little things we don't see but eat daily...or how the menu changes from different parts of the world?
<Evenstar>

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun May 21, 2023 2:36 pm

Rauf wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 6:03 am
Ann wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 5:37 am

Wait... isn't that the full dust bag from my vacuum cleaner that I threw away just the other day? Has it grown arms and legs? (How many arms and legs, please?) And claws? :?

But note that you could still insert the vacuum hose in that opening. Just give it a good twist and it will stay there! :D

Ann
I wonder what's that opening for. Eating maybe? or maybe that hole does the whole job of digestion? Or maybe something else? Or maybe it's just like the vacuum cleaner and cleans everything around??
The opening and surrounding apparatus is of course for the ingestion of food! From the Wikipedia link:
The tubular mouth is armed with stylets, which are used to pierce the plant cells, algae, or small invertebrates on which the tardigrades feed, releasing the body fluids or cell contents. The mouth opens into a triradiate, muscular, sucking pharynx. The stylets are lost when the animal molts, and a new pair is secreted from a pair of glands that lie on either side of the mouth. The pharynx connects to a short esophagus, and then to an intestine that occupies much of the length of the body, which is the main site of digestion. The intestine opens, via a short rectum, to an anus located at the terminal end of the body. Some species only defecate when they molt, leaving the feces behind with the shed cuticle.[24]
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun May 21, 2023 2:41 pm

Two amazing things from this APOD are:

1. From the Wikipedia link:
All adult tardigrades of the same species have the same number of cells (see eutely). Some species have as many as 40,000 cells in each adult, while others have far fewer.[22][23]
Only 40000 cells (or less), and yet they are still so capable! And each individual of a particular Tardigrade species has the same number of those cells as any other individual! Hmm, so are they all then exact clones of each other? I presume not.

2. The video about DNA "rolling" architecture and DNA replication molecular machinery:

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by zendae » Sun May 21, 2023 3:38 pm

Yes they always reminded me of vacuum cleaner bags. And why not? It's basically what they are, and man seemingly modeled vacuum cleaner bags after them unwittingly. I find it endlessly fascinating that even creatures as odd as these still share most of our features. I don't know if they get digested; I wouldn't think they are designed to withstand hydrochloric acid. But you'd have to eat moss to eat them. They certainly aren't poisonous. I've seen them "scurrying" about on moss; all you need is a magnifying glass. And yes, they certainly have their predators. But, boy, if anything living came from somewhere else, not having developed here, it'd be them. They could live on Mars, tho not Venus. So does life in our Solar System form and evolve the same regardless of the planet? Or did they arrive from elsewhere and are our brothers? Were they around before Pikaia, the father of the notocord?

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Jim Armstrong » Sun May 21, 2023 4:25 pm

I can't believe the spacefolks sent tardigrades to Phobos (failed or not) and the moon.
Where else?
Is there life on other planets?
We will never know now.

lefthip

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by lefthip » Sun May 21, 2023 4:34 pm

My request is simple and the discussion indicates that it is obtainable.

Is there a video available of these creatures in motion?

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Fred the Cat » Sun May 21, 2023 4:39 pm

johnnydeep wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 2:41 pm Two amazing things from this APOD are:

1. From the Wikipedia link:
All adult tardigrades of the same species have the same number of cells (see eutely). Some species have as many as 40,000 cells in each adult, while others have far fewer.[22][23]
Only 40000 cells (or less), and yet they are still so capable! And each individual of a particular Tardigrade species has the same number of those cells as any other individual! Hmm, so are they all then exact clones of each other? I presume not.

2. The video about DNA "rolling" architecture and DNA replication molecular machinery:

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
I agree Johnny that the key to understanding their uniqueness will be though studying Tartigrade DNA and the proteins they transcribe. :thumb_up:
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Ann » Sun May 21, 2023 6:43 pm

AVAO wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 7:48 am
APOD Robot wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 4:05 am Image Tardigrade in Moss
Sending tardigrades to the stars
Image
https://phys.org/news/2022-01-tardigrades-stars.html
Credit: University of California - Santa Barbara


Greetings from space :wink:
Image
A dense clump of dust in the Carina Nebula, sculpted by intense radiation of newborn stars, looks like a giant space tardigrade. Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Wow, AVAO! I have been fascinated for quite some time by that bright-rimmed Bok globule in the Carina Nebula, but I never realized until now that it looks like a cosmic tardigrade! :D

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Mon May 22, 2023 6:00 am

johnnydeep wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 2:36 pm
Rauf wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 6:03 am
Ann wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 5:37 am

Wait... isn't that the full dust bag from my vacuum cleaner that I threw away just the other day? Has it grown arms and legs? (How many arms and legs, please?) And claws? :?

But note that you could still insert the vacuum hose in that opening. Just give it a good twist and it will stay there! :D

Ann
I wonder what's that opening for. Eating maybe? or maybe that hole does the whole job of digestion? Or maybe something else? Or maybe it's just like the vacuum cleaner and cleans everything around??
The opening and surrounding apparatus is of course for the ingestion of food! From the Wikipedia link:
The tubular mouth is armed with stylets, which are used to pierce the plant cells, algae, or small invertebrates on which the tardigrades feed, releasing the body fluids or cell contents. The mouth opens into a triradiate, muscular, sucking pharynx. The stylets are lost when the animal molts, and a new pair is secreted from a pair of glands that lie on either side of the mouth. The pharynx connects to a short esophagus, and then to an intestine that occupies much of the length of the body, which is the main site of digestion. The intestine opens, via a short rectum, to an anus located at the terminal end of the body. Some species only defecate when they molt, leaving the feces behind with the shed cuticle.[24]
It's nice to know that that opening is merely for eating and not something else :D

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Ann » Mon May 22, 2023 6:21 am

Rauf wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:00 am
johnnydeep wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 2:36 pm
Rauf wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 6:03 am

I wonder what's that opening for. Eating maybe? or maybe that hole does the whole job of digestion? Or maybe something else? Or maybe it's just like the vacuum cleaner and cleans everything around??
The opening and surrounding apparatus is of course for the ingestion of food! From the Wikipedia link:
The tubular mouth is armed with stylets, which are used to pierce the plant cells, algae, or small invertebrates on which the tardigrades feed, releasing the body fluids or cell contents. The mouth opens into a triradiate, muscular, sucking pharynx. The stylets are lost when the animal molts, and a new pair is secreted from a pair of glands that lie on either side of the mouth. The pharynx connects to a short esophagus, and then to an intestine that occupies much of the length of the body, which is the main site of digestion. The intestine opens, via a short rectum, to an anus located at the terminal end of the body. Some species only defecate when they molt, leaving the feces behind with the shed cuticle.[24]
It's nice to know that that opening is merely for eating and not something else :D
Yeah, tardigrades are "bi-holey", but I think there are some organisms that only have one "opening"... :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Mon May 22, 2023 11:54 am

Ann wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:21 am
Rauf wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:00 am
johnnydeep wrote: Sun May 21, 2023 2:36 pm

The opening and surrounding apparatus is of course for the ingestion of food! From the Wikipedia link:

It's nice to know that that opening is merely for eating and not something else :D
Yeah, tardigrades are "bi-holey", but I think there are some organisms that only have one "opening"... :lol2:

Ann
Yeah, actually many sea creatures have only one opening for getting and discarding food :D but I don't want to be in their place.

Another question, is it really safe to send these creatures aboard spacecrafts to Mars and Moon??? Won't they survive and thrive in those planets, contaminating them?

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 22, 2023 1:06 pm

Rauf wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 11:54 am
Ann wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:21 am
Rauf wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 6:00 am

It's nice to know that that opening is merely for eating and not something else :D
Yeah, tardigrades are "bi-holey", but I think there are some organisms that only have one "opening"... :lol2:

Ann
Yeah, actually many sea creatures have only one opening for getting and discarding food :D but I don't want to be in their place.

Another question, is it really safe to send these creatures aboard spacecrafts to Mars and Moon??? Won't they survive and thrive in those planets, contaminating them?
I don't think there is any reason to think that any Earth organisms are capable of surviving very long on either the Moon or Mars.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Jim Armstrong » Mon May 22, 2023 4:13 pm

"I don't think there is any reason to think that any Earth organisms are capable of surviving very long on either the Moon or Mars."
I am afraid that I don't find that answer to be provable enough to take the chance.
Mars, especially, may have places where tardigrades, parts of their DNA or other things we decide to contaminate it with might survive.
Glibness is not a trait I have found often in APOD.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 22, 2023 4:20 pm

Jim Armstrong wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:13 pm "I don't think there is any reason to think that any Earth organisms are capable of surviving very long on either the Moon or Mars."
I am afraid that I don't find that answer to be provable enough to take the chance.
Mars, especially, may have places where tardigrades, parts of their DNA or other things we decide to contaminate it with might survive.
Glibness is not a trait I have found often in APOD.
Mars is an incredibly hostile environment. Again, I can think of no lifeform that could survive there, at least no anywhere near the surface (which is where contamination would occur). Life on Earth is highly interconnected. It exists within a system. There is no organism on Earth that can survive without interacting with other species. What do you imagine a tardigrade on Mars would eat?
Chris

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon May 22, 2023 6:58 pm

tardigrade_eyeofscience_960.jpg
He does look kinda manmade; what with that telephone dial nose? :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by johnnydeep » Mon May 22, 2023 7:32 pm

Piglet in a (moss) blanket! (Sorry, just had to say it.)
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Rauf » Tue May 23, 2023 8:01 am

Chris Peterson wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:20 pm
Jim Armstrong wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:13 pm "I don't think there is any reason to think that any Earth organisms are capable of surviving very long on either the Moon or Mars."
I am afraid that I don't find that answer to be provable enough to take the chance.
Mars, especially, may have places where tardigrades, parts of their DNA or other things we decide to contaminate it with might survive.
Glibness is not a trait I have found often in APOD.
Mars is an incredibly hostile environment. Again, I can think of no lifeform that could survive there, at least no anywhere near the surface (which is where contamination would occur). Life on Earth is highly interconnected. It exists within a system. There is no organism on Earth that can survive without interacting with other species. What do you imagine a tardigrade on Mars would eat?
They won't possibly thrive on a planet with no food and no accessible water. But what if, they go in a state of hibernation, or parts of their body like DNA or certain proteins stays intact, on the long run, maybe some part of their body on some form on the planet. I'm just thinking that it might be too early for us to just send them on another planet, at least without direct human supervision. From what I've read about Tardigrades, they will wake up even after 40 years of total dryness, while if they have water nearby, the won't live no more than a couple months. I think that if we are to send them on other planets, it should be with extreme care.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2023 May 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 23, 2023 12:50 pm

Rauf wrote: Tue May 23, 2023 8:01 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:20 pm
Jim Armstrong wrote: Mon May 22, 2023 4:13 pm "I don't think there is any reason to think that any Earth organisms are capable of surviving very long on either the Moon or Mars."
I am afraid that I don't find that answer to be provable enough to take the chance.
Mars, especially, may have places where tardigrades, parts of their DNA or other things we decide to contaminate it with might survive.
Glibness is not a trait I have found often in APOD.
Mars is an incredibly hostile environment. Again, I can think of no lifeform that could survive there, at least no anywhere near the surface (which is where contamination would occur). Life on Earth is highly interconnected. It exists within a system. There is no organism on Earth that can survive without interacting with other species. What do you imagine a tardigrade on Mars would eat?
They won't possibly thrive on a planet with no food and no accessible water. But what if, they go in a state of hibernation, or parts of their body like DNA or certain proteins stays intact, on the long run, maybe some part of their body on some form on the planet. I'm just thinking that it might be too early for us to just send them on another planet, at least without direct human supervision. From what I've read about Tardigrades, they will wake up even after 40 years of total dryness, while if they have water nearby, the won't live no more than a couple months. I think that if we are to send them on other planets, it should be with extreme care.
Sure, they might hibernate for a few weeks or months. But that's about it. Heck, they aren't even considered extremophile life forms!
Chris

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