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What is Cryptobiosis?

Cryptobiosis is a state of passive metabolic activity under adverse environmental conditions. In this case, the organism can survive longer until the conditions are restored. Reproduction, growth and repair are limited by physical inactivity.

Cryptobiotic desiccation is the most common. For example; Worms, shrimp, yeast, and tardigrade describe the two possible states of life. Many organisms cannot exhibit this phenomenon because freezing or drying destabilizes their membranes, leading to leaching of small molecules or denaturation of proteins.

Types of Cryptobiosis

  • Anhydra means “life without water”. It refers to the ability of some organisms to survive extreme water stress. This has been observed in lichens, cyanobacteria, yeast, molds, algae, etc. This condition is caused by dehydration.
  • In the absence of oxygen, this condition occurs when an organism takes up water and becomes a slurry.
  • It is the suspension of metabolic activity in response to high levels of metabolic toxins. Tardigrades expose chemical organisms.
  • Such cryptobiosis occurs at low temperatures. When the water around the organism freezes, cryobiosis begins and all metabolic activities cease.
  • It occurs in response to increasing concentrations of the solution in which the organism is present. however, little is known about this species.

Examples Of Animals Exhibiting Cryptobiosis

  • Brine shrimp

They are crustaceans found in salty seas worldwide. They form cysts known as “dormant eggs”, in a diseased environment. The tumor is inert in the body and can survive in a dry, anaerobic environment. These can survive cooking temperatures and temperatures below freezing.

  • Yeast

The dry yeast used is usually used as a by-product of baking. The living yeast is packed in a thick hard jacket of dead cells along with some growth medium. The yeast can be stored at room temperature, or in the refrigerator or freezer for a very long time.

  • Tardigrades

They are microorganisms found in water. The adult tardigrade is 0.5 mm long with eight legs. They suspend their body and develop cryptobiosis for about 10 years. Due to this nature, they can survive extreme temperatures, pressure, drying and radiation.

  • Bacteria

During environmental stress, bacteria form inactive, rigid, non-reproductive structures known as endospores. They help bacteria to survive when conditions are not favorable for survival. They are resistant to radiation, desiccation, heat, disinfection and starvation.

Cryptobiosis in Humans

Cryptobiosis in humans is characterized by suspended animation. Researchers are devising ways to save lives with cryptobiosis. In the United States, doctors practice a system known as emergency care and resuscitation.

In this body, the blood is replaced by cold salt water, which will lower the body temperature by 10 degrees. This reduces brain damage. By doing this, they can have more time to recover from serious injuries such as accidents and gunshots.

As soon as the salt recovers, it is replaced by blood and the body gradually warms up again. This technique has been used successfully in pigs.

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