Thursday, September 22, 2016

'Radiation Shield' found hidden in water bear genome

Some may argue that a small amount of exposure to radiation is okay, while others may say it is harmful and unhealthy. For many years now, scientists have known that Water bears, also known as Tardigrades, are a strong species that can survive in extreme conditions and fight off radiation. Researchers were interested in finding out how they are able to protect themselves against such a large amount of radiation, that would be deadly to a lot of other species.

More recently, scientists have discovered a gene in this species that protects its DNA from radiation. This gene is referred to as, Dsup. Researches inserted this gene into human DNA and exposed the strands of DNA to x-ray radiation. They then observed the strands of DNA and discovered a lot less damage than there should have been. I believe that exposure to radiation causes a lot of damage, and should be avoided as much as possible. It would be great if researches could find a way for us to use the Dsup gene to protect ourselves from harmful radiation.

1 comment:

  1. Tardigrades are so interesting. its incredible the way they survive through many different forms of adversity. I feel as though their genetic make up for survival will certainly be looked at more and more in the future by researchers to help find discoveries such as this that can help us.