The previously advanced hypothesis that desiccation resistance involves the replacement of water adjacent to intracellular surfaces with polyhydroxy compounds has been supported by experiments on cysts of the brine shrimp, Artemia, and in a model system of albumin--glycerol--water, using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, microwave dielectrics, and density measurements. We have also considered other problems that cells face when large fractions of their total water content are removed. Observations by other investigators have indicated that a variety of mammalian cells can lose roughly 50% of their water and survive; for a given cell type death occurs if its volume is reduced below a certain minimum level. Membrane damage has previously been suggested to be a major cause of dehydration damage. We have proposed some additional plausible mechanisms that might also be involved.