Back in late April 1986, a nuclear accident happened that shook the planet. This disaster was none other than Chernobyl, and the nuclear fallout was devastating.
Since the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, the radioactive site has become more of a real-life research site for scientists. Researchers have since sent in several robots to examine the site and how the nuclear fallout has affected both plant and animal life. In 1991, a team found that black-spotted fungi were growing on the walls of one of the nuclear reactors. The team also found that this fungi was slowly breaking down the radioactive graphite from the core, and was growing more strongly towards the center of the zone.
In 2007 a follow-up study was conducted by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, and found that certain types of fungi were "attracted" to radiation and actually grew more rapidly in radioactive conditions. The three fungi species were Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Wangiella dermatitidis. These species of fungi and five others were then sent to the International Space Station in 2016 to be exposed to further radiation.
While the results are yet to be released, scientists and researchers hope that with the findings, they will be able to create supplements that could assist in protecting future astronauts that leave Earth's magnetic field and are exposed to high levels of radiation.
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