A l'UM la science [S03-ep22] : Incredible tardigrades

This week in A l'UM la science, Simon Galas and Myriam Richaud, both researchers at the Institut des biomolécules Max Mousseron in the Nématodes et tardigrades laboratory, assisted by Morgan Pellerano, engineer at IBMM, open the doors to one of the only two tardigrade farms in France. A long-format report on an extraordinary creature. Broadcast every Wednesday at 6pm on Divergence-FM 93.9. 


And this Easter, we're revisiting the miracle of the resurrection, but with a scientific twist. For many years now, an organism has been attracting the attention of the scientific community for its supernatural abilities. Soak it in liquid nitrogen, no problem! Boil it and it's fine! UV-C or cosmic rays, fatal to ordinary mortals, barely tickle it and even give it the brilliance of a neon sign. As for pressure, it quietly withstands that found more than 180 km below the earth's surface. Awe-inspiring!

But it goes even further. For if our mystery guest needs water to function, he can, in the absence of it, go into a state of suspended life to the point where his body resembles nothing more than an old potato chip, waiting for a drop of water to resuscitate him.  

So what is this super-organism that concentrates so many super-powers that it's called an extremophile? It's not an April fool, but a tardigrade. A metazoan no bigger than a millimeter in size that has been resisting everything for over 500 million years. They're all around us, as long as there's a bit of water and greenery, and they walk around with the adorable look of a miniaturized teddy bear. And we're lucky in that Montpellier is home to one of only two tardigrade farms in France. It's at the Institut des biomolécules Max Mousseron on the CNRS campus, and that's where we're taking you for a long-form report with Simon Galas and Myriam Richaud, both researchers in the Nématodes et tardigrades lab, assisted by Morgan Pellerano, engineer... and breeder.

Simon GALAS Myriam RICHAUD IBMM Univ. Montpellier ENSCM CNRS Images

To find out more :

At UM la science you've got the program, here we go!

Coproduction : Divergence FM / Université de Montpellier
Animation : Lucie Lecherbonnier
Interview : Aline Périault / Lucie Lecherbonnier
Reporting : Aline Périault, Lucie Lecherbonnier
Editing : Aline Périault
Production : Tom Chevalier

Listen to the program "A l'UM la science" on Divergence FM 93.9

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