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Fastest spores in the West (or anywhere)

SEE THE VIDEO: Researchers film a fungus catapulting its spores

By
7:07pm, September 16, 2008

By recording video at 250,000 frames per second, biologists have shot the first high-speed camera sequences of spores being ejected by fungi. The spores experience accelerations that may be the fastest of any particle known to biology, the researchers report online September 17 in PLoS ONE.

Scientists have long known that certain fungi can pressurize the fluid in their cells and use that ability to shoot spores as far out as possible. Some researchers have photographed the process, but until now no one had been able to watch it in slow-motion, says fungal biologist Nicholas Money of Miami University of

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