Let Them Eat Not Cake, but Radiation! By James Reed
Trust mother nature to solve our radiation problem, so we can keep up our high levels of consumption in this age of plenty:
“A strand of fungi which spawned inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and eats radiation could allow humans to insulate against deadly rays. In 1991, five years after the disaster which rocked Ukraine, the black fungi was found sprouting up the walls of the abandoned reactor which had been flooded with gamma. Baffled how it managed to survive the extreme conditions, scientists examined the microorganism - and were even more excited with their findings. In addition to not perishing, they discovered that the fungi actually grows towards the radiation, as if attracted to it. This is because of its large amounts of melanin - the pigment which turns skin dark - and allows the fungi to absorb normally harmful rays which it then converts into chemical energy. In the same way in which plants convert carbon dioxide and chlorophyll into oxygen and glucose via photosynthesis, the fungi sapped up deadly rays which allowed it to produce energy. This process - hailed radiosynthesis - has captured the attention of scientists because of its potentially revolutionary implications. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a research scientist at NASA who is leading the experiments on the Cryptococcus neoformans fungi, believes that by extracting its radiation-absorbing power and manufacturing it in drug form, it could be used as a 'sun block' against toxic rays.”
This fungus would allow a nuclear power future to charge full speed ahead, and meltdowns might be dealt with by people just pasting on fungus sun block, and going about the more serious business of consumption in this sage of plenty.