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443 unknowns listed

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Radiotrophic Fungi

These were first discovered in 2007 as black moulds growing inside and around the damaged Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Subsequent research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that three melanin-containing fungi, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Wangiella dermatitidis, and Cryptococcus neoformans, were able to increase biomass and accumulated acetate faster in an environment in which the radiation level was 500 times higher than in the normal environment.
The fungi appear to have a biochemical mechanism which is able to use gamma radiation (high energy photons) to synthesise organic compounds or other metabolites. The mechanism is unknown source Wikipedia.


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