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I share at least some of your anger and frustration here. For years, as an individual interested in biological research but without institutional affiliation, I, too, ran into one paywall after another. The open access movement is gaining ground, but I wish it were moving faster.

Meanwhile, back at the radiated melanin: a quote from that pay-to-view review article...

When exposed to ionizing radiation, hyphal extension rates are enhanced in fungi isolated from radioactively contaminated areas (Tugay et al., 2006a; Fig. 2). The mechanism of this action has been demonstrated in Cryptococcus neoformans to be related to the ability of melanized forms to facilitate electron transfer to elicit coupled oxidation of NADPH and reduction of ferricyanide (Dadachova et al., 2007).

Best news --- that referenced Dadachova article is open access!

Dadachova E, Bryan R, Huang X,Moadel T, Schweitzer AD, Aisen P, Nosanchuk JD & Casadevall A (2007) Ionizing radiation changes the electronic properties of melanin and enhances the growth of melanized fungi. PLoS ONE 2: e457. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000457.


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