Water Bear Protein ‘Dsup’ Protects Human DNA From Radiation Damage

Posted: Sep 20 2016, 9:53pm CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Water Bear Protein ‘Dsup’ Protects Human DNA from Radiation Damage
Water bears are renowned for their ability to withstand extreme conditions. Credit: Eye of Science/Science Photo Library
  • New protein ‘Dsup’ can protect human DNA from X-ray radiation damage

The newly discovered protein is doubly more resistant to X-ray damage than normal human proteins.

A protein found in a tiny little creature known as the water bear or Tardigrades, is maybe the most indestructible protein on planet earth. The newly discovered protein is being called "Dsup" which is short for "damage suppressor".

Scientists have been stunned by the radiation resistant powers of the protein from X-ray damage. Dusp is capable of protecting human DNA from radiation by double the power of normal human proteins.

The protein was found through an experiment carried out at the University of Tokyo. Takuma Hashimoto, a biologist and the lead author of the research at the university explained his team that he was really surprised by the results.

The researchers found human cells cultivated with this unique protein undergo half as much decay as normal cells when exposed to radiation. Hashimoto also stated it is really striking to know only a single gene is capable of increasing the radiation tolerance of human cells.

The creature from where this unique protein originate have long since fascinated scientists because of their authentic survival superpowers. The water bearers can be weighed as small as only the size of a grain of sand.

The creatures do not have any eyes and their body consists of bear-like claws and nozzle like snouts. The feeding habits of these creatures consist of moss and lichen, while some even partake in cannibalism.

Water bearers are unique because they can survive in very extreme environments, like scalding hot or freezing temperatures, than any other living creature.

That’s not all... water bearers tolerate extremely high pressures and are not damaged by the environment in space. Another experiment carried way back in 2007 showed even if water bearers are exposed to deadly radiation and then sent in space and brought back to earth they do not die.

This research got published in the journal Nature Communications.

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