Curiously Polar

The Arctic and the Antarctic are privileged locations for observers interested in understanding how our world is shaped by the forces of nature and the workings of history. These areas have inspired countless humans to undertake epic expeditions of discovery and have witnessed both great triumphs and miserable defeats. As a planetary litmus paper it is at the poles we can detect the effects of natural oscillations and human activities on the global ecosystems.

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084 Meet the Natives: The World's Toughest Animal


Being Antarctica’s largest native purely terrestrial animal, the Antarctic midge (Belgica antarctica) has the smallest genome in the insect kingdom. The holder of two Guinness Book of World Records entries spends more than half its life frozen. A better understanding of how it does survives freezing temperatures of up to -40 °C could have implications for human health.


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 2020-01-21  11m