A Challenge for Hubey's DE's...

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@columbia.edu)
Tue, 28 Nov 1995 11:56:30 -0500

The NY Times Science Section (Tues, Nov 28) has a little write-up of
the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans (sorry Hubey, but that is what it
is called), which can survive radiation at levels well beyond what is
lethal to us. Up to 1.5 million rads were mentioned, which is 3000 times
the lethal dose for ourselves. The bacterium does this by being able to
repair its own DNA. How, no one really knows. But wait it gets more
There are 5 species of this genus known, and they have been found in
the following places:
1) feces of some elephants and South American llamas...
2) Swedish underwear
3) Antartic rocks
4) water tanks used to shield against radiation

Two challenges:
Use the DE's to predict how the bacterium is able to repair its own
genetic material...
Use DE's or whatever mathematic marvels up your sleeve to explain
the above distribution of the bacterium. Do all this without any
bacterium-gazing, OK?
Ralph Holloway