Astrobiologist Named Best Young Scientist - Taru Vasanthan
Tarushika Vasanthan, who is enrolled in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Astrobiology, earned the 'Best Young Researcher' Award at the Thirteenth International Symposium on Tardigrada (Modena Italy, 2015 June 23-26). Tardigrades are tiny animals that are renowned for the ability by some species to tolerate extreme conditions. Investigating ranges in conditions tardigrades can withstand and how they could survive in extreme environments bears on hypotheses about extraterrestrial habitability (i.e., 'beyond Earth life') and lithopanspermia (i.e., 'rock-containing-seed' interplanetary or interstellar transfer). Taru presented details from a study on radiation tolerance and bystander effects in tardigrades.