Thursday, May 24, 2007

Radiation-eating fungus

There's a really amazing story on ScienceDaily today, about a species of fungus that produces energy from radiation.

What I found most fascinating is that this appears to occur only in fungi that contain melanin. Considering what a vital role melanin plays in our own bodies, to me it seems like this seems like another piece of evidence that fungi are actually more closely related to animals than plants, but that wasn't addressed in the press release.

One thing they did mention, however, was using this as a food source during space travel. That got my imagination going...if it produces energy from radiation, imagine incorporating it into a food you could fortify by zapping in the microwave for a minute or two! ;)

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