Cryptobiosis research?

John Hunter jdhunter at nitace.bsd.uchicago.edu
Thu Dec 7 11:37:45 EST 2000

We talked about this in regard to protein chaperones when I was taking
a first year grad school course on Cellular Biology.  Apparently, a
primary reason cells normally get destroyed upon dessication is that
the proteins glom up and cannot be properly separated upon hydration.
Protein chaperones, of which heat shock proteins are one type, bind up
proteins upon dessication and prevent them from glomming up.  When the
cell is hydrated, the chaperone releases them and the cell can resume
its activity.  A plant was found in a museum after sitting in a closet
and was revived with water (some special desert plant which uses
chaperones whose name I can't recall).  I think Sea monkeys of
yesteryear work his way to.

A search for 'heat shock protein dessication' at
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/ turned up 10 matches which look

Susan Lindquist at the University of Chicago studies chaperones and
protein folding and was recently interviewed on Odyssey, a Chicago NPR
program, http://www.wbez.org/services/od/od-001129.ram.

        E-Mail: s-lindquist at uchicago.edu
        Web: http://molbio.uchicago.edu/Faculty/Susan_Lindquist.html

Her web site has a fair amount if information on the role of

John Hunter

>>>>> "George" == George Hammond <ghammond at mediaone.net> writes: 
    George> [Hammond] Cryptobiosis created quite a sensation in the
    George> 19th century when it was first discovered... even such
    George> luminaries as Paul Broca studied it.  Turns out the
    George> mechanism is still not well understood in the 21st
    George> century.  Small animals, less than 1-mm in size, composed
    George> typically of 1,000 cells, but having a brain, nervecords,
    George> digestive system, feet etc. (nematodes, tardigrades, brine
    George> shrimp, rotifers etc.) can actually be (naturally or
    George> artificially) decissitated, frozen, vacuumized, heated
    George> etc.. and are virtually ruled "dead", sometimes for years,
    George> decades or centuries... can then be revived by simply
    George> putting them in a drop of water!  These are animals, not
    George> plants, mind you.  In the 19th century this was considered
    George> proof of the "Resurrection" and caused quite a
    George> controversy.  I am curious as to what present day thinking
    George> about this phenomena is.... e.g., are these animals
    George> actually "dead" during cryptobiosis?  I mean, what is the
    George> definition of "dead"?  Are spores dead?  On the technical
    George> side, has any in depth research been done on the solid
    George> state structure of the cells?  for instance, is their
    George> microtubulin activity during this phase?  Any activity at
    George> all?  does anybody know who the world's leading expert on
    George> this subject is?  Any recent hi-grade research
    George> publications on the subject?  Journals dedicated to the
    George> subject?  -- BE SURE TO VISIT MY WEBSITE, BELOW:
    George> -----------------------------------------------------------
    George> George Hammond, M.S. Physics Email: ghammond at mediaone.net
    George> Website: http://people.ne.mediaone.net/ghammond/index.html
    George> -----------------------------------------------------------

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