Agriculture
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders
Frogs and Toads
Animals
No Fair: Monkey Sees, Doesn't
Poor Devils
Assembling the Tree of Life
Behavior
Brainy bees know two from three
Between a rock and a wet place
Night of the living ants
Birds
Penguins
Macaws
Mockingbirds
Chemistry and Materials
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
A Light Delay
Computers
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
The science of disappearing
Music of the Future
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Dino King's Ancestor
Battling Mastodons
Dino Babies
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
Petrified Lightning
Riding to Earth's Core
Quick Quake Alerts
Environment
Island Extinctions
The Birds are Falling
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
Your inner Neandertal
Watching deep-space fireworks
Fish
Whale Sharks
Trout
Lungfish
Food and Nutrition
Recipe for Health
Packing Fat
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. That vs. Which
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Detecting True Art
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Human Body
Foul Play?
Workouts: Does Stretching Help?
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Invertebrates
Fleas
Walking Sticks
Scallops
Mammals
African Warthogs
St. Bernards
Cougars
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
Physics
Speedy stars
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Plants
Seeds of the Future
Underwater Jungles
Fungus Hunt
Reptiles
Crocodiles
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
Ready, Set, Supernova
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Planning for Mars
Technology and Engineering
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Pronouns
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Flying the Hyper Skies
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Recipe for a Hurricane
Warmest Year on Record
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™