Scanning Electron Micrograph of a water bear by Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden

Water bears are insanely amazing creatures, able to survive freezing, boiling, desiccation, extremely high doses of radiation, and the vacuum of space. They are also strangely adorable, also known as "moss piglets" (!) since they are commonly found on lichen or moss, and scientifically known as tardigrades--slow walkers.

A short video of dancing water bears taken with a DIY webcam microscope by Marc Dusseiller of Hackteria shows their slow and bear-like gait in action:

A discussion with Marc about whether or not there are any genetically engineered tardigrades (there aren't as far as we could tell) led me to think about what we would even engineer them to be able to do. They can already survive basically anything, perhaps their genome will provide interesting clues for engineering other organisms to be as hardy as they are. The sequencing project appears unfinished, leaving me to speculate and dream as water bears dance in my head.