Agriculture
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Watering the Air
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Amphibians
Toads
Tree Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
The Secret Lives of Grizzlies
Ants on Stilts
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
Behavior
Internet Generation
Math Naturals
The Electric Brain
Birds
Chicken
Backyard Birds
Penguins
Chemistry and Materials
The newest superheavy in town
The hottest soup in New York
Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery
Computers
The science of disappearing
Programming with Alice
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino-Dining Dinosaurs
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
Hunting by Sucking, Long Ago
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Ancient Heights
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Weird, new ant
Environment
Plastic Meals for Seals
Plant Gas
Giant snakes invading North America
Finding the Past
Stonehenge Settlement
Writing on eggshells
Chicken of the Sea
Fish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Manta Rays
Saltwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Packing Fat
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Play for Science
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Spit Power
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Invertebrates
Tapeworms
Squid
Crustaceans
Mammals
Koalas
Chipmunks
Antelope
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Project Music
Gaining a Swift Lift
Plants
Surprise Visitor
Seeds of the Future
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Crocodiles
Anacondas
Space and Astronomy
Baby Star
Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Shape Shifting
Beyond Bar Codes
Algae Motors
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Where rivers run uphill
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
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™