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Thread: Fungi

  1. #261
    “Mushroom Foraging” takes a look into the lives of different mushroom hunters. Follow along to learn about the ups and downs of this little-known trade.

  2. #262
    Fungi embrace fundamental economic theory as they engage in trading

    A research paper entitled "Walrasian equilibrium behavior in nature" is available online and will appear in an upcoming edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ted Loch-Temzelides, a professor of economics and the George and Cynthia Mitchell Chair in Sustainable Development at Rice, examined through an economic lens data from ecological experiments on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi networks, which connect to plants and facilitate the trading of nutrients for carbon.

    Loch-Temzelides found that these relationships resemble how economists think about competitive - also known as Walrasian - markets. The paper demonstrates that Walrasian equilibrium, a leading concept in the economic theory of markets used to make predictions, can also be used to understand trade in this "biological market."

    "Far from being self-sacrificing, organisms such as fungi can exhibit competitive behavior similar to that in markets involving sophisticated human participants," Loch-Temzelides said.

    His finding also implies that resources are allocated to the maximum benefit of the market participants -- in this case, fungi and plants.

    "Mycorrhizal fungi networks around the world are estimated to sequester around 5 billion tons of carbon per year," Loch-Temzelides said. "Manipulating the terms of trade so that carbon obtained from host plants becomes less expensive compared to nutrients could lead to additional carbon being stored in the soil, which could provide major benefits in fighting climate change."

  3. #263
    Nicolas Cage in ‘Pig’: Film Review

    The actor stars in Michael Sarnoski’s Oregon-set debut feature about an off-the-grid truffle hunter who returns to the city in search of his kidnapped foraging pig.

  4. #264
    Watch Out, Beyond Burgers—the Fungi Renaissance Is Here

    While the popular plant-based meats grab all the headlines, a much more humble foodstuff is poised to lead the next wave of alternative proteins.

    Fancy burgers might be the current stars of the alternative protein scene, but a much more humble foodstuff is getting ready for its moment in the spotlight. The fungi renaissance is here— and a clutch of startups are ready to take this much-misunderstood food to a whole new level.

    Turning fungi into protein isn’t novel. In the mid-1960s, a British movie mogul turned flour baron named J. Arthur Rank was looking for a way to turn all his excess wheat into protein for human consumption. Rank’s scientists analyzed more than 3,000 different fungi, but on April 1, 1968, they found what they were looking for in a compost heap in a village just south of High Wycombe in England. The fungus—later identified as *Fusarium Venenatum*—fitted Rank’s requirements perfectly. It grew easily in fermenters, turning into a relatively flavorless hunk of high-protein food called mycoprotein. By 1985 this mycoprotein was approved for sale, but the first products—a trio of savory pies—studiously avoided mentioning fungi on their packaging. Instead this mycoprotein was referred to by its brand name: Quorn.

  5. #265
    Researchers use DNA barcoding to test food products claiming to have ‘wild mushrooms’

    In a new study, researchers from the University of Utah (U) and the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) used DNA barcoding techniques to test what mushroom species made up 16 food products that listed "wild mushrooms" on their labels. The authors sourced soups, dried mushrooms, powdered mushrooms, pasta sauces, and flavor enhancers from local grocery stores around Salt Lake City, Utah, and a large online retailer.

    They found 28 species of mushrooms across all 16 food products. Almost all products that claimed to have wild mushrooms consisted of cultivated species, including oyster, shiitake, or portabella mushrooms. Only five products had contents that were accurately described on the label, and some included species that likely have yet to be described in academic literature. One packet of dried wild mushrooms from the online retailer contained a species from a group of fungi that includes the "Death Cap," a notoriously poisonous mushroom known to cause renal failure in humans.

  6. #266
    Stella McCartney channels mushrooms in trippy Paris show

    To make a point about the environment, Stella McCartney used the idea of a mushroom, nature’s valiant survivor. It was also a springboard for myriad hallucinogenic looks

  7. #267
    Magic mushrooms: Scientists reveal why fungi can help rescue the planet from climate crisis

    Mushrooms and other fungi are a key weapon in the fight against climate change as they soak up carbon dioxide, provide a life support system for plants and can even replace polystyrene, according to scientists.

  8. #268
    Do Fungi Feast on Radiation?

    Apparently, but only if they contain melanin, the chemical that serves as skin pigment in humans

    More study is needed to confirm whether fungi will be able to add the ability to grow by harvesting radiation to their list of seeming superpowers, but it does raise the question of whether edible fungi—like mushrooms—have been harboring this function undiscovered for years. If true, melanin could be genetically engineered into photosynthetic plants to boost their productivity or melanin-bearing fungi could be used in clothing to shield workers from radiation or even farmed in space as astronaut food. The group plans further tests to see if fungi with melanin are converting other wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum into energy, as well.

  9. #269
    Germany issues radioactive MUSHROOM warning–forests still plagued after Chernobyl disaster

    DECADES after the disaster at the Chernobyl power plant in the former Soviet Union, Germany has issued a warning that the effects of the fallout are still measurable according to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

  10. #270
    Epping Forest threatened by commercial mushroom pickers

    The City of London Corporation (CLC) said commercial foragers had been targeting the forest which poses a threat to biodiversity.

    It said the removal of mushrooms deprived animals such as deer of a food source.

    Ancient trees also rely on fungus to protect their roots, it added.

    The corporation, which owns and manages the forest, is warning the fungus pickers that they could be fined or prosecuted for gathering mushrooms, which are protected under Epping Forest byelaws.

    Thieves have been stealing up to 49kg of mushrooms from the ancient woodlands, the equivalent of several large bin bags - authorities claim.

  11. #271
    Fungi to offer natural solution to landslips?

    “It’s about replacing some of the harder engineering materials that we tend to use with greener biological alternatives,” Dr El Mountassir explained. “Instead of using shotcrete or ground anchors, this project will seek to develop ‘biological geotextiles’.”

    It is hoped that the fungal based geotextiles, which will be grown in situ, will act to reduce water infiltration into soils, which is one of the mechanisms responsible for slope failures following periods of heavy rain. Further the fungal mycelium will also act to bind soil particles together providing erosion control. Mycelium is already known to contribute towards binding of soils as they spread out searching for nutrients and food, however the study will look to find out whether they are resistant enough to water and environmental changes to protect infrastructure.

  12. #272
    The novel nucleoside analogue ProTide NUC-7738 from Cordyceps sinensis overcomes cancer resistance mechanisms in vitro and in a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial [ 09 - 2021 ]

    A new industry-academic partnership between the University of Oxford and biopharmaceutical company NuCana as found that chemotherapy drug NUC-7738, derived from Cordyceps sinensis , has 40 times greater potency for killing cancer cells than its parent compound.

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