Tardigrades survive deadly radiation by glowing in the dark

Tardigrade
This tardigrade uses fluorescence to resist lethal UV radiation

Harikumar R Suma & Sandeep M Eswarappa

A tiny tardigrade can survive intense ultraviolet radiation for an hour by glowing in the dark. “It acts like a shield,” says Sandeep Eswarappa at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are animals around 1 millimetre long. They are famous for being able to withstand extreme conditions that would kill most organisms, such as being completely dried out.

Studying moss at their institute’s campus, Eswarappa and his colleagues found what may be a new species of tardigrade, though they don’t yet have enough information to formally describe it. For now, they are calling it Paramacrobiotus BLR, short for Bangalore.

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“We found this particular tardigrade in many places, especially in places that are well lit with sunlight,” says Eswarappa. The researchers

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