Microscopic image of Richtersius coronifer, a species of tardigrades. Tardigrades are microscopic metazoans which are able to survive extreme physical and chemical conditions by entering a stress tolerant state called cryptobiosis. H. Kneipp et al. show that surface enhanced Raman scattering supported by plasmonic gold nanoparticles can measure molecular constituents and their local distribution in live tardigrades. Surface enhanced Raman signatures allow to differentiate between two species and indicate molecular structural differences between tardigrades in water and in a dry state.
(Picture: H. Kneipp et al., pp. 759–764 in this issue)