Charles Walkinshaw discussed on In Defense of Plants Podcast


On algae on bacteria on just you can imagine the number of things that were exposed to the lunar samples just to see if there were viruses or bacteria. But one of the things that the absolutely did a great job of and the leading botanists at the time there was a fellow by the name of Charles walkinshaw, he grew radishes and all sorts of plants, and did what a plant pathologist would do. Rubbed, rubbed the leaves with lunar soil to abrade them and to see if there was any transmission of viruses or bacteria. Sprinkle lunar dust on the seeds to see if it inhibited germination. You know, they did the kinds of things you would do if you were asking the question is the lunar soil harmful from sort of toxic organism point of view. But they never, ever got the chance because of the need to preserve most all the lunar samples. They never got the chance to actually use the lunar regolith as soil and try to grow plants in them. So for 50 years, there's been this notion that, you know, somebody's got to grow plants and lunar soil. But absolutely plants play the key role back in that and that Apollo era in proving that, you know, there was no, you know, Andromeda strained bug on the moon that's waiting to destroy the earth. I love that. As a sci-fi buff myself, it's comforting to know that some of this is rooted in reality, and you get a perspective when you see what happens after the achievement. You know, the stuff that makes the headlines, we did it. We went to space, or we did it. We landed on the moon. A lot of things happened after that. Some of them very important. And what's more important than making sure we're not going to completely destroy our biosphere in the process. We think of UFOs and little green men as kind of off to the side. Fringe stuff, but it's so comforting to know that even back then, we were taking the threat of potential extraterrestrial organisms or life, very seriously. Yeah, absolutely. And

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