Japanese Scientists Successfully Revive Animal Frozen 30 Years Ago In Antarctica

Japanese Scientists Successfully Revive Animal Frozen 30 Years Ago In Antarctica

The National Institute of Polar Research in Japan announced that its scientists had successfully revived a tardigrade frozen for more than 30 years after being collected in Antarctica.

Tardigrades had previously been successfully revived after nine years, but this is thought to be the first successful revival after 30 years.

Tardigrades are invertebrates that belong to the phylum Tardigrada. They are related to arthropods (crustaceans and insects) and nematodes (i.e.roundworms). 

Tardigrades, also known as 'water bears' or 'moss piglets,' are tiny water-dwelling "extremophiles" measuring less than 1mm in length and living in harsh and hostile environments. They can slow or stop their metabolic activities for extended periods.

They can go for years without food or water, can withstand freezing and scalding temperatures, and can withstand blistering radiation and the vacuum of space.

In 2007, the European Space Agency launched 3,000 tardigrades into space for 12 days, making them the first animals to survive in space.

The tardigrades used in the study were discovered in moss plants near Showa Station in Antarctica in November 1983, which was published in Cryobiology magazine. They were kept frozen at -20 degrees Celsius and returned to Japan. According to the institute, they were unfrozen in May 2014.

According to an institute spokeswoman, the samples were originally collected to study moss, but researchers discovered two tardigrades and an egg. They successfully resurrected the egg and one of the eight-legged animals, which began moving and eating after about two weeks. It laid 19 eggs, 14 of which hatch.

Scientists are hoping to figure out how tardigrades can survive in such harsh environments for so long.  "We want to unravel the mechanism for long-term survival by looking into damage to tardigrades' DNA and their ability to repair it," researcher Megumu Tsujimoto tells The Asahi Shimbun.

1 Response to "Japanese Scientists Successfully Revive Animal Frozen 30 Years Ago In Antarctica"

  1. I wonder how this impacts their flesh-freezing Cells-Alive-System ? .🤔