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Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?
  • From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 10:37:39 -0400

I looked a little at this reference and I am putting myself down as a skeptic. This paper looks to have been published without peer review through funding from George Soros. Neither of those is proof by itself, of course, but it makes the scientifically minded put on the brakes a little bit. I was interested in the claim that living fungi were found growing inside Chernobyl and I clicked on the reference indicated in the paper, at the NIH, and no article was listed there. The site was, in fact, the NIH site, but there was no article. This blunder would never happen in a peer-reviewed paper.

Then there's the whole idea that some living thing (defined according to how that is understood by those of us who live on Earth) can not only survive ionizing radiation but utilize it to perform life functions. I have watched certain effects of ionizing radiation (x-rays) on formerly living materials and would be surprised if melanin could even withstand ionizing radiation without charring all the way to carbon, much less "eat" it. Then, of course, the life form would have to have some cell structure to support the melanin and make use of the energy products therefrom. Big doubts.

Ionizing radiation is severe stuff. And my understanding of the Chernobyl reactor is that it is now encased in concrete and nobody with any sense goes anywhere near it. But they have robots in there that are able to retrieve samples? And some researchers at Albert Einstein have these samples and are conducting research, also using ionizing radiation? And word of such a discovery did not make it onto the evening news?

I don't have time to pursue this further, but it smells like "fringe" science. That is to say, a hoax. There is a lot of this kind of stuff on the internet. You have to be careful.


Steve Marak <samarak@gizmoworks.com>
Sent by: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com

05/24/2007 12:03 AM

Please respond to
Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>

Aroid list <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
[Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?

A bit off topic, but I know others on the list like these things too ...

A post today on one of the bulb lists I follow gave a link to a
"fascinating-if-true" paper on the possibility that some fungi can use ionizing
radiation as a direct energy source in a way similar to plant's use of visible

An abstract is at:


and the full paper seems to be available online at PLoS ONE at:


Ok, it's not exactly "The Blob", but the part about melanized fungi colonizing
the walls of the damaged Chernobyl reactor has at least a bit of those old
1960's science fiction "B" movies about it. If it were April 1, I'd assume it
was a joke ... but I admit I hope it's true.


-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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