"New Scientist reports that two decades after the world's largest nuclear disa..."

“New Scientist reports that two decades after the world’s largest nuclear disaster, life around Chernobyl continues to adapt, with Chernobyl soya containing significantly different amounts of several dozen proteins, including one protein involved in defending cells from heavy metal and radiation damage. ‘One protein is known to actually protect human blood from radiation,’ says Martin Hajduch of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. In a study to determine how plants might have adapted to the meltdown, Hajduch’s team compared soya grown in radioactive plots near Chernobyl with plants grown about 100 km away in uncontaminated soil. Results from the study suggest that adaptation toward heavy metal stress, protection against radiation damage, and mobilization of seed storage proteins are involved in the plant adaptation mechanism to radioactivity in the Chernobyl region (abstract). Determining how plants coped with life after Chernobyl could help scientists engineer radiation-resistant plants. While few farmers are eager to cultivate radioactive plots on Earth, future interplanetary travelers may one day need to grow crops to withstand space radiation.”

Radiation-Resistant Plants Could Be Used In Space

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Written by Juraj Bednár //