Thursday, September 23, 2010

Plants Near Chernobyl Adapt To Contaminated Soil

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11345935



There aren't many natural sources of substantial radiation, unless you go digging up and concentrating the relevant elements or go far enough back in earth's history that plants hadn't been invented yet. There is virtually no call for the adaptation of radiation resistance, outside of a few man made regions.

However, as it happens, the biochemical adaptations required to survive severe dessication or extreme heat(which, like radiation, pretty much go all bull-in-a-china-shop on your genome and metabolically important molecules) happen to, in a number of cases, be pretty useful in radiation resistance as well. Bacteria like d. radiodurans, t. gammatolerans, and organisms like tardigrades are extremely radiation resistant; but as a side effect of their adaptations to heat and dessication.

Given the survival value, particularly for seeds, of being able to survive hard times and then germinate, or aggressively seize territory(and light) left open by forest fires, it wouldn't be a total surprise if plants had picked up a few adaptations in the same vein.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome. I'm hoping for sentient plant-life.

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  2. Ooooh I'm gonna like this blog.

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  3. eerie pics, but good content

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  4. Monster plants? Cool.

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  5. I just watched a horror film about blind people, comets, and super deadly killer plants.

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  6. Gene therapy might eventually = giving ourselves huge radiation resistance. Obviously among all the other stupid, ridiculous things we would do once we master tinkering with our genome.

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  7. Damn, got my attention with this first post. Chernobyl has been a thing of fascination for me ever since learning about it.

    Pretty amazing how adaptable nature is, even the animals have been doing pretty well.

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  8. I SAID COME IN, DON'T STAND THERE

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  9. that's kinda sorta messed up. who woulda thought

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  10. It would be interesting if the adaptation could be used in human genetics in the future.

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  11. Places like Chernobyl fascinate me!

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  12. You need to update man. Skeezy is jonesin for an update

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