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Author Topic: Could this be ET?  (Read 2285 times)

another_someone

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Could this be ET?
« on: 15/06/2006 22:54:17 »
While wondering through Wikipedia, I came across Tardigrades, which seem to be a class of animals ideally suited to extraterrestrial travel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade#Tardigrades_and_extreme_environments
quote:

Tardigrades have been known to withstand the following extremes whilst in this state:

Temperature—Tardigrades can survive being heated for a few minutes to 151 °C or being chilled for days at -272.8 °C (almost absolute zero).
Radiation— Shown by Raul M. May from the University of Paris, Tardigrades can withstand 5700 grays or 570,000 rads of x-ray radiation. (Five grays or 500 rads would be fatal to a human).
Pressure—They can withstand the extremely low pressure of a vacuum and also very high pressures, many times greater than atmospheric pressure. In theory, they could even survive the vacuum of space.



OK, they may not survive is space for more than a few days, but that's a lot better than any human can do.

BTW, in case anyone is in any doubt, the topic title is a bit tongue in cheek – I just thought the capabilities of this group of animals to be somewhat remarkable, and maybe worth future investigation.  I was also rather wondering why they have evolved such extreme capabilities that seem so 'out of this world'.



George
« Last Edit: 16/06/2006 00:48:19 by another_someone »


 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Could this be ET?
« Reply #1 on: 16/06/2006 15:01:26 »
Extremophiles

There are many organism that can do this, the most interesting (to me) are the organism that can exists at great pressure and heat miles below the surface of the earth in pore spaces in rocks.

Not only are single celled life forms included (Archaea) but Metezoa such as tube worms and shrimp that feed on the Archaea aroung ocean ridge vents, aare included in the term "Extremophile."  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremeophile

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another_someone

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Re: Could this be ET?
« Reply #2 on: 16/06/2006 16:42:03 »
Extremophiles, yes.

I can understand something capable of tolerating the pressures and temperatures of the deep sea, or even deeper Earth, but where on the Earth do Tardigrades experience a vacuum?



George
 

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Re: Could this be ET?
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2006 16:23:05 »
There is probably some microbiologist with a grude against Tardigrades who, in his warped dementia, thought he would get rid of them in a vacuume - it didn't work, so he got to publish after putting them in aqua regia.



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Re: Could this be ET?
« Reply #3 on: 17/06/2006 16:23:05 »

 

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