How do quiet walkers get dehydrated?

How do quiet walkers get dehydrated?

It's known for its resilience to extreme conditions, which gives it the status of an almost immortal living creature, and this tiny animal can also experience dehydration for decades, which has long been perplexing researchers. Now, thanks to a group of Japanese scientists, we know how the body of a "indestructible" creature reacts to avoid any degradation of the metabolism in the absence of a vital fluid.

A quiet walker, an "invincible" animal.

A slow walker, also known as a water bear, is a biological celebrity. With a size ranging from 0.1 to 1 mm, it can withstand temperatures ranging from -150 °C to +150 °C, decompressing pressure and an oxygen-deficient environment. It can also withstand solar radiation and quickly regenerate in case of serious injury. Several copies can also be resurrected after thousands of years of freezing. Therefore, quiet travel is a so-called extreme.

And that's why science is very interested in its unusual abilities, and what's more, it's a small, but incredibly powerful animal that proves that, on a distant star, multicellular creatures can wander, whose environment remains hostile to all other forms of life.

Protective protein

Scientists at the University of Tokyo published their report on 6 September 2022, which details one of the specific features of the animal: the preservation of dehydration; yes, the list of the superpowers of slow travelers is constantly growing, adding another protective process to it.

But how does she survive without water? Researchers have answered: through abundant cytoplasmic heat soluble proteins. Once dehydrated, these proteins help to preserve the cells by wiping them with gelatinous fibers, thereby preventing structural degradation. Conversely, when an animal drinks again, the threads are drawn in, allowing the body to resume functioning without causing metabolic stress.

So this extraordinaryly persistent animal is intrigued by scientists in many ways, the study of slow travelers means the discovery of unique scientific treasures that may contribute to the evolution of our medicine.

However, the Japanese team reports that it has already been difficult to identify enzymes that retain cells during drying up, and that researchers have used a coloured liquid consisting of water to observe them, thus disrupting the work of cytoplasmic proteins, which has led to the use of a methanol-based alternative solution by biologists.

Moreover, they were able to extract CAHS without changing their basic function, so, at first glance, it seems that human use seems plausible, but the challenges of achieving such results are still long and complex.