Menu

Study: Climate Change Could Threaten Tardigrades

Researchers find that a combination of high temperatures and UV radiation can have negative effects on these hardy creatures.

Dec 20, 2017
Diana Kwon

ISTOCK, ERAXIONTardigrades—microscopic animals that can survive extreme temperatures, years of dehydration, and even a trip to outer space—might not be able to withstand the combined effects of climate change, according to a study published last week (December 14) in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Scientists at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy examined how Acutuncus antarcticus, a tardigrade species native to the Antarctic, would react to climate change–associated stressors such as dehydration, high temperatures, and increased levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While the organisms were able to cope with individual events, a combination of high temperatures and high radiation lowered their chances of survival. 

In addition, the researchers report that tardigrades born from UV-irradiated eggs took longer to reach sexual maturity and produced fewer eggs during their lifetime than those hatched from nonirradiated eggs.

It is not certain that UV radiation at the poles will get worse than it is today, Mark Blaxter, a biologist at the University of Edinburgh who did not take part in the work, tells New Scientist. “Whether this tardigrade is more at risk than, say, apex predators such as penguin, or ecosystem keystones such as krill, is not clear,” he adds.

September 2018

The Muscle Issue

The dynamic tissue reveals its secrets

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress LeukopakâNow Available in Frozen Format

StemExpress, a Folsom, California based leading supplier of human biospecimens, announces the release of frozen Peripheral Blood Leukopaks. Leukopaks provide an enriched source of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with low granulocyte and red blood cells that can be used in a variety of downstream cell-based applications.

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

New Antifade Mounting Media from Vector Laboratories Enhances Immunofluorescence Applications

Vector Laboratories, a leader in the development and manufacture of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, introduces VECTASHIELD® Vibrance™ – antifade mounting media that delivers significant improvements to the immunofluorescence workflow.

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Best Practices for Sample Preparation and Lipid Extraction from Various Samples

Download this white paper from Bertin Technologies to learn how to extract and analyze lipid samples from various models!

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Launches CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin for Process Protein Purification

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the launch of two new chromatography media for process protein purification: CHT Ceramic Hydroxyapatite XT Media and Nuvia HP-Q Resin.