Thursday, March 20, 2008

SCIENCE! > "Just don't make it angry..."

It appears that a collection of fungi living inside of Chernobyl's old reactor core have adapted the ability to feed off Gamma radiation...
"This slime, a collection of several fungi actually, was more than just surviving in a radioactive environment, it was actually using gamma radiation as a food source. Samples of these fungi grew significantly faster when exposed to gamma radiation at 500 times the normal background radiation level. The fungi appear to use melanin, a chemical found in human skin as well, in the same fashion as plants use chlorophyll. That is to say, the melanin molecule gets struck by a gamma ray and its chemistry is altered."
...once again demonstrating that evolution is way cooler than we'd previously suspected.

No comments: