The hardy little water-dwelling .5mm micro-animals, known as Tardigrades, can:Survive radiation 100’s of times greater than a lethal human doseWithstand 6x more water pressure than the deepest oceansTemperatures from just above absolute zero to above boilingGo without water or food for 10 yearsCan dry out to 3% water. Then you can just add water to revive them.
And according to the University of Chicago, they enter that suspended animation by coating themselves in glassy molecules they find from water. That creation of glass formation inspired Professor de Pablo and his team to discover a new type of glass:
“These are intriguing materials. They have the structure of a liquid, and yet they’re solids. They’re found everywhere, and we still do not understand how this process of turning from a liquid into a solid occurs,” says de Pablo. Their results potentially offer a simple way to improve the efficiency of electronic devices such as light-emitting diodes, optical fibers, and solar cells. They also could have important theoretical implications for understanding the still surprisingly mysterious materials called glasses.”
SourceUniversity of Chicago
ImageFlickr \ Dr. William Miller