radiolarians over radioactivity...
by clif high, Sun, Jul 14, 2013 9:00
in considering the major global fuck up that is now known planet wide as merely 'Fukushima', it occurred to me that life is the best strategy available against seemingly overwhelming catastrophe.
Life prevails. So, let us use life, itself, to clean up after our (collective) mess. To that end, i have been investigating bio-remediation of radiation. As may be expected, there are a great many efforts that have provided some significant gains in this area, most notably, the use of mycelial networks (mushrooms) to collect, and neutralize radioactive particles in the soils.
However, my real focus of concern is the Pacific Ocean, and its horrific radioactive pollution by Fukushima. And as we all remember from oceanic zoology classes, there ain't a whole lot (none) of mushrooms growing in the ocean.
But, thinking that LIFE and Matterium ALWAYS provide us with the solutions we require, if only we are savvy enough to think deep about it, i set about to find Life that does grow in the ocean, and would be the equivalent to mycelium in scrubbing for rads.
Given that radioactive particles are small, but deadly, i chose to hunt for the small Life, that would work at the level of the radioactive particles. Turns out it was not all that hard to locate a few examples.
For radioactive strontium, we will cultivate select species of Acanthometra, a radiolarian that loves to grow long spines of strontium sulfate. And as we all remember from our chem classes, sulfur (if you can do it) is nearly as good as boron for neutralizing rads. Thus the thought to use Acanthometra, especially those species already being used as radioactive decay markers due to their taste for radioactive strontium.
For plutonium, i "think" i have found a couple of good candidates in the foaminiferans, where some species among the extremophiles use radioactive particles as energy sources. Obviously still working on these.
Yet more candidates, albeit of a different category of use, that is, as 'collectors' of radioactive minerals, rather than chemical bonding, or neutralizing, as in the radiolarians, can be found in the relatively recent development of the 'tested', or 'encrusted' amebas. There are three species in particular that show an affinity toward glomming bits of radioactivity into their 'tests', or shells. These would be very easily cultivated if their individual activity levels were high enough to make them viable as radioactivity scrubbers.
Our real work begins now. It had been my thought to purchase water boundary land here in PNW (where we get a lot of rads from Fuku), and to set up a pilot project to cultivate my bio-remediation critters, and then to set about studying the effects. Problems exist with the banksters having fucked over the real estate market (and everything else) here in USofA. Plus, relative to land prices, i am poor. So i am writing up a crowdfunding proposal to create an Ocean Rads Clean Up project using bioremediation, but it will necessarily take time to pull all this together. Thus i thought to go OpenSource on the idea of radiolarians over radioactivity such that perhaps others, with resources already to hand, could begin sooner than my effort.
So, it's not really a race mind you (but of course it is at soooo many levels), but first one to 'cook' up a batch o'them radiolarians gets the prize for crossing the line ahead of the rest of us. Ok, not much of a prize, but maybe some glory in it, some bragging rights....and given what the banksters have done, glory/honor is far better than money.