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Super Powers of the Microbial Kind

The living creature most likely to survive a nuclear blast is a bacterium called Deinococcus radiodurans -- a name that means "strange berry that can withstand radiation."

For decades, scientists have been trying to figure out just what makes it so tough. That could help researchers with everything from treating nuclear waste to preventing cancer. In this week's issue of the journal Science, an Israeli team offers one explanation for the bug's resilience.

But NPR's Jon Hamilton reports that scientists who know Deinococcus best aren't buying it.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience and health risks.

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