Indestructible Tardigrades are Threatened by Warming Earth

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tardigrade or water bear www.businessinsider.com

Health Editor’s Note: We have talked about the water bears, before in the Invincible Tardigrades. These remarkable and resilient creatures which can withstand extreme cold (minus 328 degrees F.) and highs of more than 300 degrees F., boiling, radiation, pressures of up to six times the pressure at the deepest section of the ocean, and space travel.  They can live in such a state of dehydration that they can appear to be dead.  Experiments on one of the several species of tardigrades has found that it does not survive well in its active state if the environment is in the high 90s over a period of time. Global warming will extend periods of heat and this appears to be injurious to the moss pigglet, at least to one of the 1,000 species of tardigrades….Carol

High Temperatures Might Be Water Bears’ Achilles Heel

by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com 

Scientists have calculated that water bears could survive the water pressure at the ocean floor, the coldest corners of space, and the aftermath of an asteroid impact. A study in 2017 in Scientific Reports suggested that the only way to wipe out the eight-legged, microscopic might would be to boil away Earth’s oceans. But now, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have identified a more immediate threat to tardigrades: a warming climate.

In a new study published this week in Scientific Reports, the researchers used a species of tardigrades found in their local gutters called Ramazzottius varieornatus and exposed them to high temperatures for up to 24 hours. The team was trying to find the creatures lethal temperature, or the point at which half of the tardigrades in the sample died.

So they turned up the heat and found that active tardigrades perished at around 98 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature recorded in Denmark so far is about 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We had found their Achilles’ heel,” Ricardo Neves, lead author on the study and biologist at the University of Copenhagen, told Newsweek’s Hannah Osborne. “Tardigrades are definitely not the almost indestructible organism.”

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, two rescue pups, and two guinea pigs.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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