Agriculture
Seeds of the Future
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Amphibians
Newts
Tree Frogs
Bullfrogs
Animals
Sea Lilies on the Run
Deep Krill
A Fallout Feast for Crabs
Behavior
The case of the headless ant
Homework blues
Making Sense of Scents
Birds
Emus
Lovebirds
Chicken
Chemistry and Materials
Popping to Perfection
The hottest soup in New York
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Computers
Play for Science
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
The science of disappearing
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Mini T. rex
Digging for Ancient DNA
Meet the new dinos
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Salty, Old and, Perhaps, a Sign of Early Life
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Wave of Destruction
Environment
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Plastic Meals for Seals
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
Finding the Past
Traces of Ancient Campfires
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Fish
Parrotfish
Manta Rays
Perches
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
The mercury in that tuna
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Capitalization Rules
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Detecting True Art
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
A Long Trek to Asia
A Better Flu Shot
Heavy Sleep
Invertebrates
Praying Mantis
Termites
Squid
Mammals
Wolverines
Shih Tzus
Glider
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
IceCube Science
The Particle Zoo
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Plants
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Getting the dirt on carbon
Fungus Hunt
Reptiles
Reptiles
Gila Monsters
Snapping Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Roving the Red Planet
A Planet's Slim-Fast Plan
A Great Ball of Fire
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Algae Motors
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Ready, unplug, drive
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Earth's Poles in Peril
Add your Article

Fast-flying fungal spores

 

Life’s not easy for fungi that live on piles of animal waste, or dung. For starters, well, they’re living in dung. And to complete their life cycle, fungi release cells called spores that must be eaten by an animal so that a new generation can emerge. The trouble is, not too many animals want to eat dung or the plants growing near it.

Dung-dwelling fungi have evolved a way to get around this challenge: They shoot their spores at high speed as far as two-and-a-half meters away, increasing the odds that a hungry herbivore will eat them.

Scientists have been curious about fungal spore-flinging abilities for hundreds of years. The process happens so quickly — in 1/400th the time it takes for you to blink your eye — that nobody has been able to watch all the steps in the process or calculate the speed at which the spores fly. Now, a team of scientists has used high-speed video cameras to watch the lightning-fast process in slow motion.

By using a camera that captures 250,000 frames per second, the researchers were able to watch how the fungus shoots out its spores like a miniature squirt gun. The team was also able to measure the speed at which the spores launch from the fungus. They found that spores fly from the main fungal body at an initial speed of 25 meters per second, or 55 miles per hour. To reach that speed from a standstill, the spores accelerate even more than the acceleration astronauts feel at liftoff (close to 200,000 g). According to the researchers, these spores experience the fastest acceleration known in nature.

Fungi are a group of living things that are neither plants nor animals. Molds, yeasts and mushrooms are all types of fungi, most of which produce spores. Fungal spores, and especially mold spores, can cause problems ranging from seasonal allergies to serious illnesses in people, livestock, pets and crops. Understanding how spores fly may help scientists better predict and control how these spores travel, the researchers say.

Fast-flying fungal spores
Fast-flying fungal spores








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™