[LMB] The bugs that moil for Strontium

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sat Jan 12 02:55:23 GMT 2019

The Rad-Bugs of Vorkosigan Vashnoi glow brighter 
as they accumulate more "radiation".  It seems there
are three possible mechanisms that would afford this
1) The radiation directly powers the glow.
2) The element -- isotope, rather, and say, cesium, 
just for example -- that is the most common contributor 
to the overall radiation load is part of the chemical 
pathway by which the bugs make their luminescent cells.
It's sort of an essential nutrient for glowing, a proxy
that indicates the amount of radiation gathered, and
even though the radiation is killing the overall bug, 
the nutrient makes the glow brighter and healthier.
3) The luminescent chemical normal to "glorious bugs"
is being consumed in the metabolism of HEALTHY 
rad-bugs -- but as the bugs accumulate radiation, 
get sicker and perhaps cancer-ridden, the digestive
ability to consume the glow is more and more inhibited.
As I first considered the possibilities, it seems to me
that the first option was unlikely. But I've recently
learned of the phosphor compound  Strontium Aluminate,
which would seem to allow or combine both possibilities
(1) and (2). Radioactive isotopes of Strontium (Sr-90) 
are often a worry in nuclear weapons fallout. It would make
a good   The element behaves in bio-systems rather like 
calcium.  So the take up in the rad-bug systems of
strontium allows it to MAKE more phosphor, and the 
radiation then POWERS the phosphor.  Dramatic 

If the problem were really cesium instead of strontium,
though, this conjecture falls apart. 
What do y'all think?

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