28.9.07

Atomic fungus


WorldTime News Report :: Major biological discovery inside the Chernobyl reactor, a fungus that feeds on radiation
"Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum - ionizing radiation - to benefit the fungi containing it," said co-researcher Ekaterina Dadachova. Interestingly, the melanin in fungi is no different chemically from the melanin in our skin, leading Casadevall to speculate that melanin could be providing energy to skin cells.

Radiation-munching fungi could be on the menu for future space missions. "Since ionizing radiation is prevalent in outer space, astronauts might be able to rely on fungi as an inexhaustible food source on long missions or for colonizing other planets," noted Dadachova.
Että on siis löytynyt Tsernobylin reaktorista sieni, joka kasvaa ja kukoistaa radioaktiivisuudesta huolimatta (tai siis nimenomaan sen johdosta - se kun käyttää gammasäteilyä ravinnokseen). Kuvassa ei ole kuitenkaan tämä evoluution ihme ja tulevaisuuden avaruusmatkaajien murkina.