Since that time, life forms capable of surviving extreme desiccation have been recognised in all biological kingdoms and include resurrection plants, invertebrates such as tardigrades, nematodes and bdelloid rotifers, and various micro-organisms including bakers' yeast.
Under certain physiological and environmental conditions, these "anhydro-organisms" are able to survive loss of essentially all their water, adopting a metabolic dormancy in the dried state; they resume their normal metabolic functions on rehydration. When dry, such organisms are highly resistant to environmental challenge, including exposure to extremes of temperature and pressure. This degree of stability has allowed tardigrades, for example, to remain dormant for decades without apparent damage.
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|Podcast - Cambridge 105 Science Show interview, March 2013|
|Podcast - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview with Prof Alan Tunnacliffe, December 2012|
|Drying without dying - Overview of anhydrobiosis research in the Tunnacliffe lab and its future applications. Reproduced from Research Horizons, with permission.|
Podcast - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interview with Dr. Alan Tunnacliffe.