Fw: Viridian Note 00233: Mutant Space Fungus

From: Jay Gooby (jay@futureplatforms.com)
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 03:02:51 PST

Critchon's Andromeda Strain anyone?

From: "Bruce Sterling" <bruces@well.com>

> Key concepts: Mir space station, fungus
> Attention Conservation Notice: Just plain weird,
> and of rather dubious Viridian relevance.
> **********************************************************
> Entries in the Reddy Kilowatt Makeover Contest:
> http://www.stanford.edu/~amberk/Greeny_Megawatt.html
> http://crashvx.freeservers.com/viridian/greeny/
> http://www.digitaleverything.com/Reddy.jpg
> http://www.carladiana.com/reddi.jpeg
> http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~collettj/greeny_megawatt.jpg
> http://www.geocities.com/dheedid/reddy.htm
> http://www.unclestu.com/Viridian/Reddy/reddy.html
> Viridian Contest Archive:
> http://www.bomoco.com/Viridian/Greenie/greenie.htm
> This contest ends very soon: March 20, 02001
> *********************************************************
> Source: Reuters
> "Tuesday March 6, 02001
> 9:32 AM ET
> "Mutant Bacteria Next Threat From Russia's Mir
> (((Gotta love that headline!)))
> "MOSCOW (Reuters) == Forget the danger of heavy-weight
> debris raining down from space when Russia sends the Mir
> orbiter to a watery grave this month == the real threat
> could be mutant fungi, a researcher said Tuesday.
> "Yuri Karash, an expert on the Russian space program, said
> there was a possibility that micro-organisms, which have
> spent the last 15 years mutating in isolation aboard Mir,
> could present a threat if they survived the fall to Earth.
> "'I wouldn't overstate it ... but a realistic problem
> exists,' Karash told a news conference."
> (((I'm not particularly worried about the environmental
> threat from space fungus. People and goods have been
> shuttling out of the fungus-reeking Mir for years now, and
> they must have been carrying millions of spores.
> Nevertheless, I have to consider this bit of reportage a
> signature Year 2001 moment. Here we've got a stone-dead
> space station which is not just technically obsolete and
> financially broke, but infested with organisms unknown to
> science. So much for the Space Age. This is what comes
> of heroically Storming the Cosmos in a shiny projectile
> and forgetting that we live in a biosphere. Those heroic
> little Russian space bugs have been at it longer than
> Laika did; with fifteen years' faithful service, they're
> the planet's truly veteran cosmonauts.)))
> "Karash, who has undergone cosmonaut training and is an
> aerospace advisor, said his conclusions were based on
> research carried out by Russia's Institute of Medical and
> Biological Problems.
> "Researchers have said that the fungi could be especially
> virulent if mixed with earth varieties that attack metal,
> glass and plastic. (((It'd be quite the page-one story if
> a fungus returned from space and physically devoured
> industrial civilization.)))
> "Western health officials have in the past expressed
> concerns about micro-organisms that could be brought back
> to earth after a Russian microbiologist 13 years ago
> discovered the first of many aggressive forms of fungi
> inhabiting Mir.
> "Russian space officials have played down the threat, but
> visitors to the orbiter have found numerous types of fungi
> behind control panels, in air-conditioning units and on
> dozens of other surfaces." (((Wonderfully reminiscent of
> the Japanese camp sci-fi classic MATANGO, FUNGUS OF
> TERROR. They don't just *live* in the dead space station
> == they're *decomposing* it.)))
> O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
> O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O

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