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(NBC News)   Google Street View allows you to tour the city of Namie, Japan, abandoned after the Fukushima nuclear accident. The Earth abides   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Japan, Google, Fukushima, nuclear accidents  
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7879 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Mar 2013 at 8:52 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-03-28 02:35:46 PM  
1 vote:

DubtodaIll: are plants just immune to radiation or is it that their metabolism is so slow that it takes longer to see the effects?

Off the top of my head, I'd reply that plants are not immune to radiation but are variously affected by doses, just like animals. Radiation that would kill humans can be survived by rats, and radiation that would kill rats can be survived by cockroaches. Trees are more vulnerable than some plants but even D. radiodurans so-namedbecause it can survive outerspace levels of radiation thanks to some remarkable DNA repair capabilities, is not immune. All radiation is risky. A tiny dose might kill one out of a billion people, but that's little comfort if you are one of the people in question.

Radiation has different effects in different organs also. Getting radioactive dust in your lungs is deadlier than getting it on your feet. An animal that washes itself with its mouth (flies, cats) is more vulnerable than one that doesn't bathe, and one which drinks water is more vulnerable than one that gets its water from thick-skinned fruit which it bites or breaks open without chewing and swallowing.

Infants are at risk because of mother's milk or cow's milk and because they are weaker than full grown adults. Iodine is not given to the elderly because they don't need it as much as children and pregnant women and because the side effects are more of a risk, while the benefits are smaller.

Many other factors play a role:  how fast the organism grows, how much radiation it absorbs, whether it has bones, and so forth. Many plants grow very slowly or very rapidly and would escape radiation damage. A tree, for example, grows in a thin outer layer of living cells. Radiation might destroy this whole layer but not harm the dead wood inside. Or the tree might stop growing for a year or more, having lost its leaves to radiation like a person who loses hair and teeth, etc.

The food we consume (notably bananas and brazil nuts) are naturally radioactive because some of the elements have radioactive isotopes. Potassium in the case of bananas and Brazil nuts. Of course, potassium is needed by your body and you should not boycott bananas and Brazil nuts for this reason alone. The risk-benefit analysis says eat well and don't worry about every little inconvenience or risk.

It is never an either/or proposition. Radiation affects each type of living thing differently. One of the big dangers of a nuclear war would be the lose of keystone species that are particularly vulnerable but vital to the community of living organisms. Whole ecosystems might collapse, while other ecosystems might thrive without apparent long-term damage.
2013-03-28 10:30:56 AM  
1 vote:
Totally disappointed at the lack of zombies....
2013-03-28 09:27:16 AM  
1 vote:

lendog: McDonald's,+Japan+mcdonalds&hl=en&ll=37.496 96 9,140.990615&spn=0.001841,0.003484&sll=37.497633,140.990939&sspn=0.001 249,0.002763&t=h&gl=us&z=19&layer=c&cbll=37.497054,140.99064&panoid=OS vtAxP_Rk6Sw3htr69RNA&cbp=12,127.36,,0,3.2

It's actually a shopping center with a McDs.

Bet the food is still edible. Or as edible as McDonald's food can be.
2013-03-28 09:16:38 AM  
1 vote:

tillerman35: George R. Stewart nods approvingly at subby's headline.

Does anyone have a hammer?
2013-03-28 08:59:41 AM  
1 vote:
George R. Stewart nods approvingly at subby's headline.
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