Agriculture
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Fast-flying fungal spores
Amphibians
Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Animals
Roboroach and Company
Helping the Cause of Macaws
Navigating by the Light of the Moon
Behavior
The Disappearing Newspaper
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Girls are cool for school
Birds
Hummingbirds
Dodos
Backyard Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Boosting Fuel Cells
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
Computers
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Batteries built by Viruses
Supersonic Splash
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Takeout for Mammals
The man who rocked biology to its core
Meet your mysterious relative
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Snowflakes and Avalanches
Farms sprout in cities
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Environment
The Birds are Falling
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
An Ancient Childhood
Fish
Eels
Great White Shark
Skates
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Food for Life
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. That vs. Which
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Math Naturals
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Flu Patrol
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Invertebrates
Ants
Camel Spiders
Bees
Mammals
Jaguars
Grizzly Bear
African Warthogs
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
The Particle Zoo
Invisibility Ring
Gaining a Swift Lift
Plants
Nature's Alphabet
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Pythons
Tortoises
Space and Astronomy
Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
Planets on the Edge
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Pronouns
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Catching Some Rays
Arctic Melt
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™