Science/Tech

Water Bears: What You Need To Know About Nature's Record Setters

It was Matthew LaPlante who said that the human race can learn a lot from nature’s record setters, one of which are the water bears. According to LaPlante, we can learn how to effectively fight cancer and reverse the effects of aging by studying these creatures. Moreover, the human race can also learn how to properly build safer airplanes.

“There’s such exceptional information to be learned by things that break all of the rules, that somehow evolve to be bigger or somehow evolve to be smarter or somehow evolve to metabolize slower. And for a long time, we didn’t look at those outer edges of the bell curve because we were so focused on the things in the middle,” LaPlante said in his book “Superlatives: The Biology of Extremes.”

Truly, we have learned that some of the most extreme and toughest creatures on the planet are very small, nearly microscopic. One of these creatures is tardigrades, also known as water bears.

There are some who thinks that tardigrades hold the secret to reversing human aging.

“They’re called water bears. They’re adorable. They will shrink down into a semi-living form that’s only really like three percent of its original weight, like they’ll just retain basically the crust of who they were. And they’ll just wait. They’ll just wait and wait and wait until a better day comes along,” LaPlante explained.

“And we can shoot tardigrades into outer space, we can throw radiation on them and we can dehydrate them. They can go without food for years and years. You can freeze them at temperatures that would kill anything else and they’ll come back again and again,” he added.

Moreover, there is another creature that piqued the interest of LaPlante and his team. The peregrine falcon, dubbed as the fastest bird in the entire planet. It can dive so fast that it’s falling rate is that of a soccer field every single second. Airplane engineers would want to learn a thing or two about these amazing creatures.

LaPlante’s fascination with the animal kingdom has benefited the community of researchers, specifically the health and medical industry. His research has delved into the extremes of the animal kingdom and it appears that he and his team are not planning to stop anytime soon.

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