hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
New Trillium species discovered

Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

RSS story archive

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

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?
  • From: "ExoticRainforest" <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
  • Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 16:20:19 -0500

Thanks for the clarification Ron.  By the way, for those of you who do not know, Ron is a PhD who studies marine organisms, my kind of guy! 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:34 PM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] OT: Fungi that eat ionizing radiation?

Hi Steve,

    The melanin story is very interesting, and if it's true that melanin changes in response to ionizing radiation exposure and may facilitate survival of organisms under conditions that otherwise might be lethal, the repercussions could be many and far-reaching.  Cool stuff!

    As for the National Geographic special, I'd like to address a few factual issues in what you wrote.  First, there are *many* areas of the ocean where hydrothermal vents are spewing hot, mineral-rich water into the deep sea.  The existence of biological communities around many of those vent sites has been known for 30 years, and many vent communities and organisms have been studied extensively.  The word "noxious" to describe some of the chemicals that are released by vents is somewhat human-centered.  For example, many organisms that live in anoxic conditions might describe oxygen as "noxious".  :-)  Second, the communities around deep-sea hydrothermal vents are indeed supported by primary producers (mostly bacteria) that use "noxious" hydrogen sulfide or methane as energy sources.  It's a fascinating system that prior to 30 years ago would have been considered science fiction!

  Finally, the issue of organisms living in nearly 800 degree Fahrenheit water was a subject of controversy among the biologists who first studied the vent systems.  The deep sea is, for the most part, very cold (1-2 deg C = 34-36 deg F), and it turns out that temperature gradients near hot vents are *extremely* steep.  The water coming out of a vent may approach 800 deg F (over 400 deg C) at the hottest sites, but a few inches away the temperature may be a relatively mild 125-160 deg F (50-70 deg C).  Most hydrothermal vent organisms seem to live on the fringes of the hot water plume, not within the hottest water.

Ron Kaufmann

ExoticRainforest wrote:
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

Aroid-l mailing list
Aroid-l mailing list

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2017 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement