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Bears in Space Roundup

October 10, 2008

An amazing animal can survive the extreme conditions of space.


The world’s toughest animals. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Move over, cockroach. The water bear, or tardigrade, may really be the most indestructible animal on earth. Researchers sent three thousand of the tiny organisms on a European Space Agency trip into space and found that they could survive the extreme conditions of space. Water bears look like tiny Michelin tire men, smaller than the period at the end of a sentence. They’re able to go into a dormant, dehydrated phase and then spring back to life. Scientists study the water bear to learn how cells can protect and repair themselves.

In other recent science news, Dartmouth researchers have found that a high percentage of 10 to 14 year old children watch explictly violent, R-rated movies. Some of the films had been seen by as many as forty percent of the children. The researchers suggest that either the rating system or enforcement could use some adjustment. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.