HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Major biological discover...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:13 AM

Major biological discovery…inside the Chernobyl reactor??

Major biological discovery…inside the Chernobyl reactor??
https://unitedcats.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/major-biological-discoveryinside-the-chernobyl-reactor/

There has been an exciting new biological discovery inside the tomb of the Chernobyl reactor. Like out of some B-grade sci fi movie, a robot sent into the reactor discovered a thick coat of black slime growing on the walls. Since it is highly radioactive in there, scientists didn’t expect to find anything living, let alone thriving. The robot was instructed to obtain samples of the slime, which it did, and upon examination…the slime was even more amazing than was thought at first glance.

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. This is an amazing discovery, no one had even suspected that something like this was possible.

Aside from its novelty value, this discovery leads to some interesting speculation and potential research. Humans have melanin molecules in their skin cells, does this mean that humans are getting some of their energy from radiation? This also implies ..........

34 replies, 3430 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Major biological discovery…inside the Chernobyl reactor?? (Original post)
Coyotl Nov 2013 OP
NMDemDist2 Nov 2013 #1
Bennyboy Nov 2013 #2
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #8
juajen Nov 2013 #16
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #18
ffr Nov 2013 #17
riversedge Nov 2013 #3
aggiesal Nov 2013 #13
Xipe Totec Nov 2013 #4
leftyohiolib Nov 2013 #34
Berlum Nov 2013 #5
Coyotl Nov 2013 #6
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #10
ffr Nov 2013 #14
eppur_se_muova Nov 2013 #22
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2013 #23
eppur_se_muova Nov 2013 #26
whopis01 Nov 2013 #27
BlueJazz Nov 2013 #29
IrishAyes Nov 2013 #7
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #9
MyNameGoesHere Nov 2013 #11
ErikJ Nov 2013 #12
MNBrewer Nov 2013 #15
Warpy Nov 2013 #19
defacto7 Nov 2013 #20
Posteritatis Nov 2013 #21
annabanana Nov 2013 #24
NNadir Nov 2013 #25
SoLeftIAmRight Nov 2013 #28
NNadir Nov 2013 #30
SoLeftIAmRight Nov 2013 #31
dimbear Nov 2013 #32
Javaman Nov 2013 #33

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:22 AM

1. can it help with nuclear cleanup i wonder? n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:34 AM

2. Paul Staments, the mushroom guy, says it sure can

 

Amazing guy this one: Fungus, mycella, mushrooms can save the world:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bennyboy (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:26 PM

8. Stamets is amazing, isn't he!

I get his news letter and am trying to set up a mushroom bed in my garden. I haven't been successful so far. But I haven't given up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 02:22 PM

16. I thought mushrooms needed complete darkness?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to juajen (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 03:15 PM

18. Well, mushrooms in the forest don't have complete darkness

and so you can prepare a bed with leaf mulch and then inoculate with spore. But the tree where I want to plant has some issues that haven't been resolved as yet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bennyboy (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 02:25 PM

17. WTH? Where has this been hiding? Love DU!

Learn something new every day. This is nothing short of amazing! I'm SPAMming everyone in my addressbook with this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:34 AM

3. If it grows faster, does this mean we will soon

be covered with this black slime?? Just saying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to riversedge (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:56 PM

13. We already are . . .

it's called OIL

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:36 AM

4. Life finds a way. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 11:53 AM

34. i saw that movie

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:45 AM

5. I for one welcome our glorious new Gamma Slime overlords

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 12:16 PM

6. May they evolve quickly. They have a lot of catching up to do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:38 PM

10. That was actually the original "Alien" type movie.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:57 PM

14. Profound words, even given their Hollywood roots.

This is an amazing discovery.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Berlum (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:47 AM

22. Interesting that they can make form-fitting spacesuits for women ...

complete with a little peekaboo cutout at the neckline, while the men are still wearing those bulky Mercury/Gemini-era outfits.

Shame she doesn't have a backpack, though -- she'll asphyxiate in minutes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 07:58 AM

23. I noticed the lack of a backpack for her, but not the peekaboo

For that matter, she doesn't have gloves on either.

Maybe the alien slime monster is actually extending an umbilical cord to her to inject emergency oxygen, and the dumb humans are attacking it by mistake? The skin exposure will still, sadly, kill her in a few minutes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 10:26 AM

26. Amazed I didn't notice the gloves ...

but those slip-on booties caught my eye. I'm thinking -- hmmmm ... in vacuum ? They'll blow off like corks popping.

Yay Hollywood !

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 10:53 AM

27. That's why there is peekaboo cutout and no gloves...

It gives what little air is in her helmet places to escape so it won't blow her booties off.

Seems consistent enough to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whopis01 (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:39 PM

29. I believe she also wears some sort of "airbag" or maybe even 2 on the front of her suit. It could be

... that highly compressed air shoots out of her suit (encompassing her hand) that allows her to fight the dreadful algae-octopus thing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:24 PM

7. I kept searching for an 'Onion' notice.... never found one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:36 PM

9. "Life as we know it" keeps being redefined.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:46 PM

11. So is this cool enough

to start having more meltdowns?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:56 PM

12. Controlled by gamma light

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 02:07 PM

15. I don't believe that the fungi are using radioactivity as an energy source

This was originally reported in 2007 and has never actually been confirmed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 03:29 PM

19. Wherever there is an energy source, life will evolve to take advantage of it

as we've discovered from the bottom of the ocean to Antarctica to the Atacama. Life on this particular planet does tend to depend on water. That might not be the case elsewhere.

Yes, there are a lot of implications here that should be followed up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 03:30 PM

20. Blessed is the slime..

For it shall inherit the earth.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 05:18 PM

21. Life finds a way. Extremophiles are neat. (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 09:06 AM

24. "this also implies"....

IT WILL FEAST ON HUMAN FLESH

(yum yum melanin)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 09:53 AM

25. Species that are radiation resistant have long been known, most famously...

...Deinococcus radiodurans, which has been found in operating nuclear reactors.

This particular extremophile has long been a subject of interest for the "panspermia" school of thinkers on the origins of life on Earth. From objects like the Murchison Meteorite, these theorists consider that the origins of chirality, an important and somewhat mysterious (in terms of origin) factor essential to life, may have originated from the asymmetry of high radiation around pulsars.

I discussed this in a post I wrote on another website where I used to write:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/08/925489/-The-History-of-Water-and-Thus-Life-In-the-Cosmos

There is much fear and ignorance associated with nuclear energy - for instance people actually think that the leakage of cesium-137 into the ocean from Fukushima is a serious matter for which we should burn tons of coal and oil to discuss on the internet.

Actually, the radiation from Fukushima is trivial when compared to the intrinsic radiation of the ocean.

I covered this point as well elsewhere: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/06/991377/-How-Radioactive-Is-the-Ocean

Life evolved in the presence of radiation fields, and it is quite possible that it may in subtle ways depend on the presence of radiation fields - to generate diversity for instance - a point that is often overlooked when the fear and ignorance associated with discussions involving radiation are evoked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NNadir (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:47 PM

28. Do you believe Fukushima is a serious matter?


" that the leakage of cesium-137 into the ocean from Fukushima is a serious matter"

Anyone that could say anything that could be construed as hinting toward an implication that Fukushima is NOT a serious matter should never be taken seriously about anything.

Anyone that displays a thought process so defective that it would suggest that someone that considers Fukushima is serious matter also wants to burn more coal and oil should never be taken seriously about anything.

You sound like a very bright fourteen year old. Lots of info - no wisdom - a reckless view of the world.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 03:06 PM

30. Whatever. In the next hour, around 400 people will die from air pollution.

Some of that air pollution will come from coal, gas, and oil burned by people carrying on about radiation that thus far has killed no one.

Every 15 years or so, plus or minus a few, air pollution, in fact, kills about as many people as all of World War II killed by all causes, combat, bombing, genocide, etc.

I spend much of my free time reading in the primary scientific literature about risk, engineering, climate change, environmental chemistry, physics, etc.

There is a word for people who do what I do: Autodidacts.

I'm not some rube living by googling his or her way every damn day to a link that will tell him or her what she wants to hear.

Quick: Which killed more people, Chernobyl or the serial dam collapse at Banqiao in 1975? Don't know about Banqiao, couldn't care less? Why am I not surprised? I'll bet you've spent days and days and days in the last twenty years carrying on about Chernobyl though.

Which caused more deaths? The destruction of 4 nuclear reactors at Fukushima or the last three hours of air pollution?

I have never, not once, met anyone who burns coal, oil, and gas - this while waiting insipidly for the imaginary wind and solar nirvana that never comes despite sucking hundreds of billions of dollars out the pockets of the poor, among others - who complains about Fukushima, who has even a remote passing acquaintance with the primary scientific literature.

Usually, despite their tremendous lack of sophistication, their obsessive indifference to reality, they nonetheless insist on being taken seriously, even they in no way deserve to be so taken.

They are not serious. They are clueless.

Recently one of the world's most important climate scientists, Jim Hansen, wrote a compelling and widely read - by scientists - paper that demonstrates that Fukushima, Chernobyl, mining, storage of used nuclear fuel, all issues - nuclear energy saves lives.

The paper is here, and it is open access, anyone, even a fool, can read it:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es3051197

Why don't you read the paper and then get back to me giving me one reason, any reason, why you should be taken seriously.

Now let me be clear on something, OK? The paper, again, demonstrates that nuclear energy has saved almost 2 million lives, despite the insane attacks on it by people who are ill informed, indifferent, obsessive, and completely divorced from comparing nuclear energy to its alternatives.

It might save millions more, were it immune from fear and ignorance, which regrettably, it is not, nor is it likely to ever be.

Thus it is fear and ignorance, and not nuclear energy, that will cause millions to die unnecessarily.

Nuclear energy need not be perfect; it need not address the selective attention concerns of every scientifically illiterate opponent of it spouting 50 year old dogma; it need not be harmless; to be vastly superior to everything else.

It only needs to be vastly superior to everything else, which it is.

Now, I have yet, even once, in a long tenure of having confronted people who are among other things about this issue who I would regard to be as bright as any fourteen year old, never mind the several 14 year olds who I happen to know who are very bright for their ages.

The overwhelming majority people who are going to be hurt by Fukushima will not be injured by radiation or radiation related causes. The overwhelming majority of people who will lose their lives will lose them because obsessive and ill informed asinine fools caused nuclear power plants to be shut and replaced by dangerous fossil fuels, which kill people whenever they operate, whether they do so in normal operations or in accident situations.

Thank you though for your comment. I wasn't feeling as disgusted as I should be by how ignorance is causing the destruction of the planet, and thus thank you for bringing be back to reality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NNadir (Reply #30)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 03:22 PM

31. As I said.....

You can throw shit from every species....

I commend you for your diversity. It is not the diversity or volume of information that you have at your command that I question, it is what you do with them. My areas of expertise are mathematics and philosophy and I often your arguments worse than faulty.

It would be nice if our minds, our bodies, dynamic systems or all kinds were as simple as you believe. I sorry, all things are much more complex than you can even imagine.

Come on down from that high horse. You have some qualities that could be of help. I hope the best for you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 07:43 PM

32. Call me skeptical.

Gamma radiation is so penetrating it offers nothing to living organisms. It's known this particular sort of slime is very resistant to radiation. That's probably what's going on.

Note the story is from 2007. No offense meant.










Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:55 AM

33. Personally, I welcome our new radioactive black slime overlords. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread