Monday, April 15, 2024

Tardigrades Are Almost Radiation Proof

 Tardigrades are able to withstand 1,400 times more radiation than a human with no side effects. Tardigrades are able to do this by repairing their broken DNA from the radiation. Radiation is dangerous to most organisms because it damages DNA strands. Sometimes the radiation can cause cells to alter which then can attack DNA which will also cause damage. Tardigrades were also found to have a protein called Dsup. Dsup shields the genes of the Tardigrade from energy rays and errant molecules. The researchers who found the Dsup protein tested this on human cells by then putting x-ray on them. The cells with the Dsup proteins were less damaged than the cells without the protein. The protein does not necessarily prevent the DNA to break since other testing has been done that breaks Tardigrade DNA. However, there will now be more testing done to understand how Tardigrades fix their broken DNA quickly. Another protein that could withstand damage to human DNA is TRD1. This research will continue into understanding how Tardigrades can survive such harsh environments.

In my opinion I think it is really interesting to see how Tardigrades can help human cells be able to protect DNA. This can be very helpful for humans especially those who need radiation or x-rays a lot. 

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  1. Hey Abigail,
    This is a really interesting topic and I think its really cool to see that Tardigrades are immune to radiation. This would be great to further research because using what we know about Tardigrades can help us find a way to make humans immune to radiation as well. I also wonder if they are immune to UV rays because then we can find a solution to help prevent skin cancer too. Good post!

  2. I remember learning about the extreme conditions that tardigrades can survive, even surviving the vacuum of space. Them being able to bathe in radiation without a problem just adds to their uniqueness. With regards to their DNA repair mechanism, I'm greatly curious to see how we will use this in human research. Cool topic!

  3. I think this is a very interesting article. Tardigrades are such resilient creatures and I think much can be learned by studying them. I wonder what the practical application to this radiation protection in human cells could be.