Monday, October 1, 2007

As if Toxic Meteor Rocks Weren't Enough...

. . . here are two more examples of B-movie monsters come to life thanks to The Power Of Science™:

(1) Brain Eating Amoebae

I shit you not. Thanks to global warming, a heat loving species of amoeba is now able to survive in shallow, human infested waters. This does not bode well for said humans, since this particularly nasty amoeba likes to attach itself to the inside of the nose and burrow itself into the brain, with fatal results: Six young men from Arizona, Texas, and Florida have already died. Since it looks like the oceans, like the rest of the world, are going to keep warming up with time, it's certain that more cases will spring up over an incresingly wide area.

This link will take you to a webpage describing this and other dangerous species thriving as a result of global warming.

(2) Gamma-Ray-Eating Fungus

Maybe this is the reason Mario grows when he eats mushrooms. . .

Researchers in Chernobyl have discovered a species of fungus that uses the protein melanin to convert ionizing radiation-- the dangerous, DNA-breaking, cancer-inducing kind of radiation-- into bioenergy via a process analogous to photosynthesis. Apparently, the fungus was first discovered lining the walls of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

Research also seems to indicate that this ability is not the result of a mutation, nor is it unique to this particular species. In fact, it appears that any fungus containing melanin(whose function in fungi until now was a mystery) can undergo a similar "radiosyntheis" process.

Here's a similar story focusing on underground fungi that feed on uranium ore emissions.

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