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[Aroid-l] More on those Silly Fungi

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] More on those Silly Fungi
  • From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 15:53:01 -0400

OK Steve, I know about thermophiles and the alternate energy source of sulfides. The eating of "poisons" is not all that far out. After all, methanogen bacteria and sulfur-reducing and anaerobic bacteria have been known for a long time. For many anerobes the regular atmosphere is poisonous. But I am pretty sure that no living organism can stand a fresh temperature of 800F (I assume F) without death. I know that these beasties live NEAR hot temperatures, but I don't know if anyone has measured the sustained temperature of their flesh. I mean, I can amaze little children by passing my fingers through a candle flame. No biggie there - except to the children who have never seen it done.

Ionizing radiation is another bag altogether.

I wrote a note to one of the PhDs listed on the author list asking if he was the author and if the nutshell information was correct. I'll let the list know if he writes back.


"ExoticRainforest" <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
Sent by: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com

05/24/2007 03:06 PM

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

"Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?

Far be it for me to discredit or vouch for any of this!  But I did find it interesting due to another interest dear to my heart.  I'm one of less than a thousand people in the world who can document having logged over 5000 scuba dives.  My time in the water as a professional underwater photographer included time in a deep submersible.  Never got to go down to the deep water in the mid-Atlantic rift or the really deep water off Galapagos but I recently saw a National Geographic special which featured deep ocean dives to both areas of the ocean where live volcanoes are constantly spewing on the ocean floor.  The National Geographic team found large incredible marine life actually using the noxious gasses produced by these volcanoes as a food source.  And to top that, many were living in water with a temp approaching 800 degrees!  Some were photographed crawling into vents so hot it was actually burning them alive and they were happily gathering and eating the stuff!
Nothing ought to be able to live in complete darkness, with extremely high temperatures while using "poisons" as food, but they do!  So I don't have any idea if anything in this article is factual, but apparently life can and does exist in places we would not have previously expected it to survive.  Perhaps the "Blob" exists as well!
Steve Lucas
----- Original Message -----
From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
To: Discussion of aroids
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?

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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