If you find something funny in my argument, then please pardon me, as I lack knowledge of biology. I was reading an article titled as "Water Bears Can Replace All The Fluid In their Bodies With A Glass Matrix"

Being extremely new to biology, I am a bit confused. Do Tardigrades preserve water through this protein or entirely change their biological structure to flush away all the water present in their body and rely on these proteins? Does this mean that their bodies no longer contain water?



1 Answer 1


neither they are desiccating, some water remains but too little to sustain normal processes, the matrix just preventing all the normally destructive side effects of desiccation that would destroy the cellular machinery, the cellular processes are still essentially stopped.

  • $\begingroup$ Cellular processes are essential for living. You haven't clarified how Tardigrades survive without cellular processing taking place in them. $\endgroup$
    – Ren
    Dec 14, 2017 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ not really, if the proteins and other molecular structures are not degraded they can be interrupted and restarted, your own article discussed how the tardigrade proteins keep other proteins from degrading during dehydration. and tardigrades have other molecules to protect cellular membranes and nucleotides. Its just for 99% of all life the molecules degrade if dessicated and wont function if rehydrated. Some single celled organisms and spores can survive suspended processeshttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1017/S095283690200078X/abstract;jsessionid=9D9B775F84753DB9AC7B12BCDFDD120D.f02t01 $\endgroup$
    – John
    Dec 15, 2017 at 2:14

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