skip to primary navigationskip to content

Video: Just add water

last modified Jan 27, 2014 02:15 PM
Video: Just add water

Dr Alan Tunnacliffe

Dr Alan Tunnacliffe and his team aim to increase our understanding of anhydrobiosis, or life without water, and to examine possible cell-based applications. They work on rotifers, tiny animals that survive against all the odds.

Now Dr Tunnacliffe's work has been featured in the latest video in the Cambridge Ideas series. In the video, Dr Tunnacliffetests rotifers' super-powers by draining 90% of the water in their microscopic bodies, heats them to boiling point and freezes them in liquid nitrogen. Still they thrive! These extraordinary animals are able to survive under conditions deadly to most life. What can this teach us about how life might travel through space and potentially how it could have arrived on Earth? Could it revolutionise medicine by bringing the tough tricks of the rotifers to human cells and medicines?