Earth's toughest creatures now be living on moon

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 8, 2019

You've heard of men on the Moon - but what about moss piglets?

Microscopic tardigrades, which can survive intense pressure and extreme temperatures, crash-landed onto the Moon aboard an Israeli probe in AprilThere might be life on the Moon after all: thousands of virtually indestructible creatures that can withstand extreme radiation, sizzling heat, the coldest temperatures of the universe, and decades without food. An experiment in 2007 even proved that tardigrades could even survive the vacuum and radioactivity of space and reactivate after rehydrating back on Earth.

They were part of the Arch Mission Foundation's "lunar library" and the founder told Wired that they may have survived the crash. There have been more than 750 known species of tardigrades, which are found in all kinds of harsh environments.

Tardigrades have eight legs with claws at the end, a brain and central nervous system, and a sucker-like pharynx behind their mouth, which can pierce food.

The tardigrades were stored inside a "Lunar Library", a nanotechnology device that resembles a DVD and contains a 30-million-page archive of human history viewable under microscopes, as well as human DNA.

"We chose them because they are special".

Spivack is confident this too survived impact - but it doesn't represent the first genetic code or life forms to be deposited on the barren celestial body. They can survive practically any planetary cataclysm.

"In that state you can later rehydrate them in a laboratory and they will wake up and be alive again", Spivack explained.

"We don't often get a chance to land life on the moon that we made a decision to seize the day and send some along for the ride", Spivack added.

Also known as water bears or moss piglets, tardigrades can live in water or on land, and are capable of surviving temperatures as high as 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit) and as low as minus 272 degrees Celsius (-458 Fahrenheit), albeit for a few minutes.

Spivack told CNN that the "best-case scenario is that the little library is fully intact, sitting on a nice sandy hillside on the moon for a billion years".

"In the distant future it might be recovered by our descendants or by a future form of intelligent life that might evolve long after we're gone", he said.

"From the DNA and the cells that we included, you could clone us and regenerate the human race and other plants and animals", he added.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE