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Introduction of Research
Water is an essential solvent for all living systems. Some organisms, however, including the microscopic microscopic eight-legged animals called the tardigrades, can endure almost complete desiccation by entering an ametabolic state called anhydrobiosis (life-without-water), and they can quickly come back to active life upon rehydration. In this state of suspended animation, tardigrades are known for their extremotolerance, including extreme heat and cold (-273˚C to 100˚C), extreme pressure (vacuum to 7.5GPa), and ionizing radiation (>5000 Gy). One species even survived direct exposure to space vacuum and UV-C for ten days. We conduct multi-comics analyses coupled with advanced molecular biology experiments to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying anhydrobiosis, and we aim to understand the systematic mechanisms enabling extremotolerance in these species.