A radiation shield. And it comes right from Chernobyl, the tragic scenario of one of the most disastrous nuclear accidents in history. The discovery of the study published on New Scientist, and reported by Daily Mail, it is almost as incredible as the description of the researchers who carried it forward. “It’s the key to living on Mars,” they said, referring to the fungus that developed inside the nuclear reactor destroyed in the 1986 explosion.

Life on Mars

The University of Standford team of researchers analyzed the fungus discovered as early as 1991, five years after the accident. Just as plants absorb chlorophyll, the Chernobyl mushroom has absorbed deadly radiation and converted it into energy. Not only. The researchers explain that “a layer of the mushroom about 21 centimeters thick could largely negate the equivalent annual dose of the radiation environment on the surface of Mars.” More simply, it could allow to live on Mars, until now inaccessible planet because of its high level of radioactivity.

«Able to regrow in a few days»

Scientists then explain how the mushroom has already been able to absorb harmful cosmic rays on the International Space Station and that therefore it could potentially be used for future colonies on the Red Planet. “What makes the mushroom great is that you only need a few grams to get started,” he said New Scientist one of the authors of the study, Nils Averesch: “self-replicates and self-heals, so even if there is a solar glow that significantly damages the radioactive screen, it will be able to grow back in a few days”.

In addition to not dying, Cryptococcus neoformans, this is the scientific name of the anti-radiation mushroom, grows towards toxic rays, as if it were attracted to them. A real radio synthesis that, say the scientists, “could have revolutionary potential”.

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