The larva of the sleeping chironomid, Polypedilum vanderplanki -- a mosquito-like insect that inhabits semi-arid areas of Africa -- is well known for being able to come back to life after being nearly completely desiccated, losing up to 97 percent of its body's water content. Now, researchers have discovered that a gene called heat shock factor -- which is present in some form in nearly all living organisms on earth -- has been coopted by the species to survive desiccation.