The ruined remains of Chernobyl have become a source of several
environmental mysteries. Rapid adaptation of rodents, the swift return of nature
and now extremely happy fungi that seem to be feeding on waste
According to the research of some folks at the Albert Einstein College of
Medicine, Cryptococcus neoformans is converting radiation into fuel. This could
mean that fungus is the solution to two of our greatest environmental problems,
lack of fuel and too much radioactive waste.
All we need to do is surround our nuclear waste with this radiation-eating
fungus and then harvest it every once in a while to produce some kind of
bio-fuel. I doubt we have enough radioactive waste to feed enough fungus to run
America's automobile fleet, but that's hardly something to complain about. It
looks like melanin (the same melanin found in human skin) plays the roll of
chlorophyl in this 'radiosynthesis.' After taking in the radio waves, the
melanin starts off a reaction that allows the fungus to grow.
The scientists speculate that the fungus could be used for bio-fuel farms in
high-altitude areas with low-light and high-radiation. Or they could be food for
astronauts on long-haul, nuclear-powered missions. In any case, now we know that
life will continue even if the light of the sun disappeared, because fungi in
Chernobyl will continue to eat left-over radiation for centuries. And isn't that
just the beginning of a wonderful sci-fi novel
I probably don't need to explain why this is incredible. The question that follows is:
"yeah, but are they sentient?"
ON a serious note, please consider the idea of mushrooms that eat nuclear waste. Petrol dependency? What petrol dependency?