Biology of Life: Living under extreme conditions

Biology-Feature 1

While humans and other organisms are facing consequences of global warming, there is lot to learn from organisms living under extreme conditions on earth. By understanding the strategies these organisms use, we can find solutions to the problems that may arise due to global warming. Here are some interesting examples:

Deinococcus radiolarians

Deinococcus radiolarians:It is a bacterium that that can survive 3000 times the lethal dose of gamma radiation on humans. The DNA in them does gets damaged by the radiation but it has proteins that repair the damage fast and efficiently.

Kangaroo rat

Kangaroo rat: Capable of living in dry arid desert, they do not drink water their entire life! They live on water extracted from dry food such as seeds. Their Kidneys conserve water and the urine is solid and crystal like.

TardigradesAlso called water bears, they are tiny (micro) animals and can be found everywhere, they are known to be the most resilient creatures and can withstand high temperatures, extreme pressure, air deprivation, dehydration, radiation and starvation. They can survive such harsh condition by suspending metabolism called cryptobiosis.

Wood frogs:(Rana sylvatica) are found in cold areas of North America. These frogs become rock solid during winter and revive when weather warms up. The cells of their body do not get damaged by the formation of ice crystals due to the presence of antifreeze proteins.

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About the author: Dr. Sarkar is a faculty at the University of Miami, Coral Gables,FL ( She is passionate about the impact of science in our life. She inspires her students with her infectious enthusiasm.


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