john simpson

Plants In Nuked Soil: Less Talking, More Growing

Blog Post created by john simpson on Feb 22, 2011

Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 11.4 million  monthly unique users)
"Plants In Nuked Soil: Less Talking, More  Growing"
February 18, 2011


Plants seem to tolerate the high radiation levels found in the soil  near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Both soybeans and  flax showed changes in their proteins, but not enough to stop them from thriving  in the soil contaminated by the 1986 disaster. Martin Hajduch of the Slovak  Academy of Science and his colleagues found that only five percent of the flax  seeds' proteins were altered. The proteins involved were related to cell  signaling, or the system cells use to communicate with each other. Exactly what  allows the plants to thrive in the nuked soil is still unclear. The research was  published in the American Chemical Society's journal, Environmental  Science and Technology. Birds haven't been so lucky. Recent research  showed that birds living in the Chernobyl area have significantly smaller brains  than normal.