Maybe there is some truth in Baloo’s outright singing. As it turns out, it would seem that a bear’s necessities pumps up DNA, or so is the conclusion reached by a paper, that discuses the bear’s resilience.
Unfortunately, we are not talking about a Grizzly bear or a mountain bear. The published paper featured an unusual creature, surnamed the bear of the sea. It’s microscopical organism, that lives at high depths and it is usually invisible to the naked yes. The creature is named Tardigrade and, according to the research, it is the most enduring creature found on Earth. Although the Tardigrade is quite small by comparison (scientists found out that the adult Tardigras can reach a length of approximately 1.5 mm), the tough little bug can withstand a lot of beating. The critter is so pumped up that is can survive in any hostile environment. It is able to withstand the high pressures at the bottom of the ocean and it can also be able to survive in extreme temperatures, ranging from absolute zero to more than a 100 degrees.
The resilient creatures was found to reside in the deep crevices found on the bottom of the ocean. The team of scientists behind this project stated that the creature has become so resilient because he is able to swap genetical material on a daily basis. According to the gene sequencing results, it would seem that 17.5 percent of the tough seaman’s DNA comes from other sea-faring creatures. Those particular genes come from marine species such as bacteria, fungi and Archea.
Bear’s necessities pumps up DNA and the Tardigrade manages to do that through an intricate process called horizontal gene transfer. Basically, an organism doesn’t inherit genes from its parents, but from a gene transfer with another specie.
Although, the scientists confirmed that the Tardigrade contains genetical material from different other organisms, including plants and bacteria, they could not say for sure which is which, because most of the genes have yet to been sequenced. What’s for sure, in this case, is that the Tardigras’s augmented DNA makes him tough and resilient warrior. Apart from being able to sustain quite a beating when exposed to extreme weather conditions or high pressure, recent research has uncovered that the little critter is able to survive even in the void of space.
Horizontal gene transfer occurs during the desiccation period. As the cells rehydrates, the cell’s membrane increases permeability, thus allowing any number of molecules to pass.