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Chapter 35 : Fungal Alchemy: Using Radiation as a Source of Energy
Accustomed as we are to microbial surprises, we were nonetheless taken aback by a report disclosing that certain fungi grow better when exposed to ionizing radiation. According to a paper from Albert Einstein Medical School, fungi can also use radiation as a source of energy—not exactly one’s view of radiation as something malevolent and baneful. Had we paid attention to the news from Chernobyl, we would not have been surprised because the walls of the still-hot reactor have become covered with mold. Not only that, but it has been known for some time that fungal species search out radioactive particles, i.e., manifest radiotropism.