collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 30 November 2020: $636 donated. Only $74 more needed! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* Recent Posts

Re: Crazy thought by Anon100
[Yesterday at 07:01:24 pm]


Re: Crazy thought by Anon100
[Yesterday at 06:05:32 pm]


Re: Tigereye by PerditaPickle
[Yesterday at 07:56:54 am]


Re: Tigereye by sevensons
[Yesterday at 06:16:03 am]


Re: Recently Blogged by PerditaPickle
[November 28, 2020, 06:21:02 pm]

Author Topic: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?  (Read 1002 times)

Dragonoake

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 328
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« on: March 10, 2012, 09:23:17 pm »
Apparently, but only if they contain melanin, the chemical that serves as skin pigment in humans

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=radiation-helps-fungi-grow

Dragonoake

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 328
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 09:28:14 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;45500
.[/url]


I've often wondered whether an organism might evolve that uses ionizing radiation as an energy source in a low light environment, such as Europa
This could give us a clue about what to look for

Owl

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 587
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 24
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Other
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2012, 09:30:38 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;45500
Apparently, but only if they contain melanin, the chemical that serves as skin pigment in humans

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=radiation-helps-fungi-grow

 Totally cool!
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

cigfran

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Posts: 421
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://cigfran.net
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2012, 09:46:52 pm »
Quote from: Dragonoake;45500
Apparently, but only if they contain melanin, the chemical that serves as skin pigment in humans

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=radiation-helps-fungi-grow

 
Which totally explains Matango!

Dragonoake

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 328
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 09:56:21 pm »
Quote from: Owl;45503
Totally cool!


It could also have applications in RTGs

Dragonoake

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 328
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 03:54:02 am »
Quote from: cigfran;45506
Which totally explains Matango!


I've seen pictures of pine trees in front of the Chernobyl power plant that the locals call "magic wood" because they are so radioactive that they glow in the dark.
I think they said the radiation level in that grove was something like 30k roentgens/hour (which for humans, means lethal exposure in about five minutes) but the trees, at least, look healthy

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10263
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 277
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 08:40:23 am »
Quote from: Dragonoake;45500
Apparently, but only if they contain melanin, the chemical that serves as skin pigment in humans

More like "maybe" instead of apparently. The observation is that melanin containing fungi grow better than fungi without melanin when exposed to ionizing radiation. The hypothesis stressed in this article is that this is because the fungi are feeding on the radiation. An alternative hypothesis (barely mentioned) is that they do better because the melanin protects them from radiation so the non-melanin fungi are doing worse while the melanin are simply doing normal. Which (if either) is true is yet to be tested.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free

Dragonoake

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2012
  • Location: Arkansas
  • Posts: 328
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 01:44:58 am »
Quote from: RandallS;45530
The observation is that melanin containing fungi grow better than fungi without melanin when exposed to ionizing radiation. The hypothesis stressed in this article is that this is because the fungi are feeding on the radiation.


I was thinking .....
Since ionizing radiation seems the simplest way to produce complex pre-biotic chemistry from clouds of dust, would it not be possible that earliest life forms could have evolved in a similar environment?
Perhaps an organism utilizing melanin as a method of harvesting environmental energy could have arisen, which would later have evolved into one that used chlorophyll as it adapted to changes in its environment, much as Hemoglobin replaced Hemocyanin as marine organisms moved onto dry land

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
1270 Views
Last post November 22, 2012, 04:55:38 pm
by DancesWithHorses
6 Replies
1229 Views
Last post February 24, 2013, 11:59:42 am
by veggiewolf

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 42
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal