Unlocking the key to tardigrade’s radiation resistance

Researchers have discovered that tardigrades have the remarkable ability to repair DNA damaged by gamma radiation or X-rays. Molecular biologist Dr. De Cian and his team exposed tardigrades to gamma rays, which are hundreds of times more powerful than the radiation that would kill a human. Despite the intense radiation, the tardigrades survived and continued as if nothing had happened. This ability to resist radiation has long been known, but the secret behind their resilience has only recently been uncovered.

Studies published in eLife and Current Biology revealed that tardigrades are masters of molecular repair, quickly reassembling broken DNA. Scientists have been fascinated by tardigrades’ ability to withstand extreme conditions for centuries. From drying out completely and regenerating upon being rehydrated to enduring deep freeze and even traveling to space, these microscopic creatures have intrigued researchers.

Further research has shown that some tardigrades can withstand radiation doses up to 1,400 times higher than those required to kill humans. Radiation damages DNA by breaking DNA chains and causing molecular alterations that can attack the DNA. However, tardigrades have mechanisms to prevent or repair this damage. The discovery of a protein called Dsup, which protects tardigrade genes from high-energy rays, has shed light on how they survive such extreme conditions.

Studies conducted on tardigrades collected from various locations revealed that gamma rays can destroy tardigrade DNA without killing them. Additionally, researchers found that tardigrades produce unique proteins after being exposed to radiation, some of which may help repair damaged DNA. These findings have the potential to not only uncover more secrets about tardigrades but also lead to new strategies for treating diseases related to DNA damage.

Understanding proteins like TRD1, which may help cells withstand DNA damage, could have implications for cancer treatment, as DNA damage plays a significant role in the development of many types of cancer. By unraveling the mysteries of tardigrades’ superpowers, scientists hope to gain insights that could benefit medical research and improve human health.

By Samantha Robertson

As a seasoned content writer at newsderf.com, my passion for storytelling and creativity shines through in every article I craft. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, I thrive on translating complex topics into engaging reads that resonate with our diverse audience. My goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire readers through thought-provoking content that leaves a lasting impact. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the world of news together.

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