Editing genes in tardigrades to discover their secrets

About the episode

We can’t stop talking about tardigrades. This is not surprising considering that some species can survive the extremes of conditions, such as space or freezing.

Scientists have been trying for years to discover the genetic secrets of this half-millimeter-long animal, and now they are getting a little closer.

Researchers in Tokyo have successfully genetically modified an extremely wild species in such a way that they can influence the genes present in the animal’s offspring. This made it possible to turn genes on or off in this species to see which ones play a role in survival in extreme conditions.

This type of gene editing has been possible for some time in fruit flies and other insects, for example, but it has never been done in this way in tardigrades before.

One of the tardigrades’ superpowers is to survive extreme drought. They succeed in this thanks to a special gelatinous substance found in their cells. Could this work with people? Whole organ, dried and then wet again, without damage? Researchers believe this could have a major impact on organ transplantation.

But first we need to fully understand how tardigrades do it. These scientists hope to use this technology to find the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Read more about the research here: Editing tardigrade genomes to reveal their secrets

See also  The T. rex family walked at a human pace

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *