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Fungi That 'Eat' Radiation Are Growing on the Walls of Chernob Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:43 AM

Fungi That 'Eat' Radiation Are Growing on the Walls of Chernobyl's Ruined Nuclear Reactor
By Ross Pomeroy - RCP Staff
February 04, 2020
Real Clear Science

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Back in 1991, scientists were amazed when they made the discovery...

In the eerie environment inside the abandoned Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, researchers remotely piloting robots spotted pitch black fungi growing on the walls of the decimated No. 4 nuclear reactor and even apparently breaking down radioactive graphite from the core itself. What's more, the fungi seemed to be growing towards sources of radiation, as if the microbes were attracted to them!

More than a decade later, University of Saskatchewan Professor Ekaterina Dadachova (then at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York) and her colleagues acquired some of the fungi and found that they grew faster in the presence of radiation compared to other fungi. The three species tested, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cryptococcus neoformans and Wangiella dermatitidis, all had large amounts of the pigment melanin, which is found – among many places – in the skin of humans. People with a darker skin tone have much more of it. Melanin is known to absorb light and dissipate ultraviolet radiation, but in the fungi, it seemed to also be absorbing radiation and converting it into chemical energy for growth, perhaps in a similar fashion to how plants utilize the green pigment chlorophyll to attain energy from photosynthesis.

To learn more about Chernobyl's radiation-loving fungi, Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers sent eight species collected from the area to the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2016, seeking to observe how the organisms would react. The ISS environment exposes inhabitants to between 40 and 80 times more radiation than on Earth. Researchers behind the effort hoped that the fungi would produce molecules that could be adapted into drugs that could be given to astronauts to protect them from radiation on long-term missions. Results of the experiment have yet to be published.

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#2 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:06 AM

Shades of the Protomolecule from The Expanse.
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#3 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:07 AM

View PostSeverian, on 05 February 2020 - 10:06 AM, said:

Shades of the Protomolecule from The Expanse.


I really enjoyed that show.
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#4 User is offline   USNJIMRET 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 11:54 AM

Quote

What's more, the fungi seemed to be growing towards sources of radiation, as if the microbes were attracted to them!

You want Zombie Slime??
THAT'S how you get Zombie Slime!!!

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#5 User is offline   Holland25 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 11:56 AM

Remember that oil leak, I forget where it was at. It was in the ocean and they couldn't get it stopped for days. Remember how we were told this is an ecological disaster that will continue to reek havoc. Then a short time later scientist couldn't find signs of it. It is amazing how nature has a way of addresses these things on it's own.
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#6 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 01:12 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 05 February 2020 - 10:07 AM, said:

I really enjoyed that show.

It's quite well done, the books are even better of course but they do a very good job capturing the books in the series, one of the best I've seen. The actors really fit the characters as well, especially Amos.
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#7 User is offline   Noclevermoniker 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 01:14 PM

View PostHolland25, on 05 February 2020 - 11:56 AM, said:

Remember that oil leak, I forget where it was at. It was in the ocean and they couldn't get it stopped for days. Remember how we were told this is an ecological disaster that will continue to reek havoc. Then a short time later scientist couldn't find signs of it. It is amazing how nature has a way of addresses these things on it's own.

There are numerous bacteria that will consume hydrocarbons.
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#8 User is offline   Moderator T 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 06:01 PM

View PostSeverian, on 05 February 2020 - 01:12 PM, said:

It's quite well done, the books are even better of course but they do a very good job capturing the books in the series, one of the best I've seen. The actors really fit the characters as well, especially Amos.

Both Amos and Avasarala's actors nail their characters. The actress playing Bobbie isn't how I pictured her from the books, but she's pretty awesome as well
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#9 User is offline   Oathtaker 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 08:38 PM

View PostSeverian, on 05 February 2020 - 10:06 AM, said:

Shades of the Protomolecule from The Expanse.


In Babylon Ashes the strain of yeast that Prax and his group on Ganymede developed was able to absorb particle emissions up to gamma iirc.

The one that was murdered said something to the degree of “use it for reactor shielding and you could get rid of the replicators”
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#10 User is offline   gravelrash 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 09:29 PM

Back on topic. It has been documented that the Chernobyl blast zone is lush with vegetation, wild pigs, and giant carp. Radiation and fallout accelerate growth not necessarily in beneficial ways for humans.

Roberta "Bobbie" Draper, in the novels, she is about 7-feet tall and lanky because of Mars' lower gravity. Her suit is Goliath power armor. The writers and producers seemed to have flipped speculation for small-screen. Whatever. I love a woman in uniform.
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#11 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 10:32 PM

View PostModerator T, on 05 February 2020 - 06:01 PM, said:

Both Amos and Avasarala's actors nail their characters. The actress playing Bobbie isn't how I pictured her from the books, but she's pretty awesome as well

Avasarala is my wife’s favorite, because as my wife says it’s so rare for there to be a good, strong older woman role in TV or Movies. Plus she loves her clothes and jewelry. She is a bitch on wheels.

The novels “The Churnl” is about Amos and his escape from the hell that is Baltimore.
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