In a newly released study, researchers at the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan describe their successful efforts to get a tiny tardigrade to hatch 14 eggs after 30-plus years of being frozen.
A microscopic creature resembling a miniature bear has proven that its abilities far exceed its size. The National Institute of Polar Research in Japan has recently released a study which documents the successful reproduction of a tiny animal that had been frozen for 30-plus years. At the center of the test is the tardigrade, an extremely hardy survivalist known to endure harsh temperatures and other conditions, at least in part, by adjusting their metabolic rates. In 1983, a group of them were gathered from Antarctica, and last year, scientists were able to thaw and revive two of them. While one died within a month, the survivor was able to produce 19 eggs and hatch 14 of them. Overall, scientists are encouraged about the 30-year span, as the previous record for tardigrade revival was 9 years. The team is hoping the research will help provide insights into DNA repair and extended survival.