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Thread: Fungi

  1. #101
    The Place Where Mushrooms Get Their Own Parade

    In the midst of a cross-cultural mushroom mania, we visit a festival where longtime fungi fans gather to discuss the latest in psychedelic, culinary, and medicinal mycology.

    Backed by a soundtrack of drums, attendees of the 39th annual Telluride Mushroom Festival chanted their enthusiasm as they made their way down the city’s main drag. Many were dressed as types of fungi—red and white polka-dotted Amanita muscaria was a popular choice—while others simply carried real-life specimens along for the ride. There were signs: “Give Us Room to Shroom,” “Lion’s Mane Grows Your Brain,” and “Non-Judgment Day Is Coming.” It was the culmination of a half-week spent exploring the mycological wonders of the world in a paradisiacal landscape perfect for foraging (or taking another kind of trip).

  2. #102
    How wild mushroom delicacies in Goa are threatening its forests

    The popularity of edible wild mushrooms is turning into an ecological threat for the forests of Goa.

    Wild mushrooms play an important role as decomposing agents and their depleting numbers can have severe repercussions on the health of the forests.

    The Goa forest department banned harvesting of these mushrooms in 1992. However, next year, the ban was amended to cover only wildlife sanctuaries and government protected forests.

    Social media images of women selling the mushrooms on huge leaves on the roadside create an even bigger buzz around this monsoon favourite.

  3. #103
    Researchers resolve how fungi produce compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications

    Research led by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute has solved a nearly 50-year-old mystery of how nature produces a large class of bioactive chemical compounds.

    The compounds, called prenylated indole alkaloids, were first discovered in fungi in the 1970s. Since then, they have attracted considerable interest for their wide range of potential applications as useful drugs. One compound is already used worldwide as an antiparasitic for livestock.

    Understanding how the fungi build these chemicals is essential to reproducing them and creating variants in the lab for new applications. The fungi’s genes encode enzymes, and these enzymes use very simple building blocks to perform each step to build the complex molecule.

  4. #104
    Why does the CDC want us to 'Think Fungus'?

    When people think of infectious microbes, they typically think of bacteria and virus. There is, however, another enormous group of organisms that can affect our health: fungi.

    Fungi are all around us and people are infected when they inhale the microscopic fungi, fungal spores or through direct contact.

    Sometimes the exposure to fungi is through contaminated products. That happened in the 2012 outbreak when more than 13,534 people were exposed to methylprednisolone (an anti-inflammatory drug), which was contaminated with a fungus called Exserohilum rostratum that typically infects plants but not humans. In this outbreak, 753 cases of contaminated-product related fungal infections were reported and 61 people died.

    Fungal outbreaks caused by understudied species are notably challenging because diagnostic tools and treatment options are insufficient.

  5. #105
    Nicolas Cage Will Play a Vengeful Truffle Hunter Trying to Find His Stolen Hog in 'Pig'

    Nicolas Cage is going hog wild in his next movie, Pig, in which he plays a truffle hunter bent on revenge after his beloved truffle-sniffing swine is kidnapped.

    When Cage's prized truffle-foraging pig is stolen, he must journey into Portland – and his long-abandoned past – to recover her.

  6. #106
    ‘There’s mushrooms I’ve never seen before’: Terrace mushroom hunter says 2019 season one for the books

  7. #107
    Antarctic Fungi Provides a Window into the Past and Future

    Most life forms are unable to survive the mind-numbing temperatures on the polar continent of Antarctica, which can reach minus 90 degrees Celsius. In this extreme climate, however, researchers have found snow and ice harbors fungi specially adapted to thrive.

    A new book, Fungi of Antarctica, edited by Luiz Henrique Rosa, was published on June 19 and features a chapter “Fungi in Snow and Glacial Ice of Antarctica,” which identifies fungi in the snow and ice of the continent and reviews their features, functions, and biotechnological applications.

    The 28 different species of fungi indexed in the chapter were likely transported to the continent by air currents, decanted from the atmosphere through precipitation, and settled on the snow and ice.

    Researchers found the fungi broadly distributed in the different ice layers and ecosystems of Antarctica. “Both cold substrates, snow and ice, harbor interesting fungal species living at the edge of life in terms of temperature, low nutrient availability, and high exposure to ultraviolet radiation,” the authors wrote. Two species of Antarctic fungi, which were not part of the study, recently survived 18 months on the International Space Station, with more than 60 percent of cells intact.

  8. #108
    The gospel of mushrooms: how foraging became hip

    Searching for fungi has long had an old-world mystique. But for generations coming of age during the climate crisis, the powerful organisms are more important than ever

  9. #109
    Mushrooms Going Mainstream

    As part of their ongoing Wixon Innovates – a trendspotting project for product development – Wixon taste experts are digging into mushrooms, more specifically, adaptogenic mushrooms. This focus on fungi is rooted in the blossoming plant-based trend where consumers are turning to plant-based products as a healthy addition to their diets. And according to Innova Market Insights, one in two U.S. consumers report health as the reason for buying plant-based alternatives to bread, meat or dairy.

    “What we’re finding,” says Wixon Marketing Manager, Becca Henrickson, “is that as more consumers seek out plant-based alternatives to meat products and healthier food options, mushrooms can provide the desired texture and health halo they want. Mushrooms are widely known for their earthy and umami-rich flavor, but their popularity is fast-growing for their associated health benefits and meat-like texture, as well.”

  10. #110

  11. #111
    Mushroom Council invests USD$1.5 million into nutrition research

    With mushrooms growing in awareness and consideration among consumers nationwide, the Mushroom Council is making a $1.5 million investment in research to help broaden understanding of the food’s nutritional qualities and overall health benefits.

    In April, the Mushroom Council invited 26 researchers and council board members who reviewed past council research projects and established criteria for new project proposals.

    Following the summit, the group identified neurocognition and food pattern modeling as research priority areas and issued two requests for proposals to the nutrition research community.

    The council received 15 proposals that were reviewed by the council’s scientific Research Advisory Panel.

    The final proposals recommended for funding at the September board meeting include:

    • nutrimetabolomics and markers of health promotion of mushrooms in healthy eating patterns;

    • modeling the effects of substituting and/or adding a full serving of mushrooms to healthy eating patterns;

    • insights into mushrooms’ relationship with cognitive health in older adults;

    • study on mushrooms’ impact on brain health in animal modeling;

    • investigating mushroom consumption and preference among preschoolers;

    • analysis of mushrooms for bioactives/ergothioneine for inclusion in USDA database.

  12. #112
    Meet the Artist Who Creates Gorgeous Collages With Foraged Mushrooms

    Fungi, plants, lichen, and anything else Jill Bliss finds in nature feature in her dazzling displays.

  13. #113

  14. #114
    TRUFFLES: MUSIC! MUSHROOMS! MURDER!!! Returns To The Secret Room For A Second Season

    After a four-year run. the audience-pleasing musical, murder mystery, Truffles: Music! Mushrooms! Murder!!! is returning to New York for a brand new second "season" beginning performances on Saturday, November 2 and initially running through December 28, and will run Saturdays at 6:30 pm at the Secret Room New York (707 8th Avenue, between 44th & 45th street).

    It's a dark and stormy night at the Donati family restaurant, as those lovable oddballs Dante and Olga Donati prepare to auction off their legendary 2-pound truffle. When the mushroom is stolen and a murder discovered, it is up to YOU and the rest of the Truffles family to discover "whodunnit" before the legendary mob boss Don Fiola puts the Donatis out of business for good! Enjoy a sit-down dinner as YOU the audience participates in this musical murder mystery. From the creators and fans of the original long-running production, this re-imagined Truffles... invites you to a one-of-a-kind immersive theater experience, an evening of playful jazz, poisoned wine, and proper comedy.

  15. #115
    Fungi could reduce reliance on fertilizers

    Introducing fungi to wheat boosted their uptake of key nutrients and could lead to new, 'climate smart' varieties of crops, according to a new study.

    Researchers at the University of Leeds have demonstrated a partnership between wheat and soil fungi that could be utilised to develop new food crops and farming systems which are less reliant on fertilisers, reducing their contribution to the escalating climate crisis.

    It is the first time the fungi, which form partnerships with plant roots, have been shown to provide significant amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen to a cereal crop. The fungi continued to provide nutrients under higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) predicted for 2100, which has important implications for future food security.

    Agriculture is a major contributor to global carbon emissions, partly due to significant inputs such as fertilisers. Whilst meat production contributes far more to global warming than growing crops, reducing the use of fertilisers can help lower agriculture's overall contribution to climate change.

    Most plants form partnerships with fungi in their root systems, known as arbuscular mycorrhizas, which enable them to draw nutrients from the soil more efficiently. In exchange, the plants provide carbohydrates to the fungi as a form of payment, known as a symbiosis.

    Plants can give 10-20% of the carbon they draw from the air to their fungal partners, in exchange for up to 80% of their required phosphorus intake. These fungi can also help plants increase their growth, nitrogen levels, water uptake, and defend the plant against pests and disease.

    "We are starting to realise that some of the crops we have domesticated lack these important connections with fungi in the soil. Our results suggest there is real potential to breed new crop varieties which regain this lost relationship with beneficial fungi, and improve the sustainability of future food production systems."

  16. #116

  17. #117
    Brtonigla Mushroom Days Attract Domestic and Foreign Guests

    As Glas Istre/Luka Jelavic writes on the 28th of October, 2019 twelve mushroom associations with more than two hundred mushrooms, mostly from Istria and other parts of Croatia (Karlovac, Rijeka, Sesvete), Slovenia (Sežana) and Italy (Muggia, Vicenza, Trieste), participated in the competition in search and collection of mushrooms and in other contents of this year's manifestation "Mushroom Days" held in Brtonigla.

    Upon the return of all the participants, after hours of searching and collecting "forest meat", a special committee decided that the most beautiful mushroom was brought by the Bresadol mushroom team from Trieste, while the biggest mushroom, a 12 kg specimen, brought by the team from Vicenze (Italy). Members of the mushroom association from Sežana arranged the most beautiful basket full of mushrooms, and they also received the same recognition last year.

  18. #118
    A startup just announced the world’s first fake-meat “steaks” made from fungi. Are we ready?

    A new class of fungi-based steaks, cultivated from a fast-growing micro-organism, may be a paradigm-shifting meat alternative. I visited Emergy Foods' Boulder, Colorado headquarters for a taste.

    Agho said that these steaks had started growing the previous night around 5:30 p.m. The process takes about 20 hours. The fungi multiply so quickly that, ultimately, she said, a full-scale Emergy facility will be able to produce the protein equivalent of 4,200 cows a day.

    With that, it was time to eat.

    The first thing I noticed was the way the outside of the meat managed to singe and crisp much like a real steak would, with a feel on the teeth and tongue like muscle seared on a grill. The steak’s flesh—I should say “flesh”—had a mild, savory flavor that was not unpleasant. It did not especially call to mind the taste of steer or, for that matter, mushrooms. It was slightly reminiscent of a soy nugget, with a subtle hint of malt.

    More interesting was the texture. The cuts weren’t bouncy, like a portabella mushroom, or spongy like soy protein. Yet they definitely lacked the layers of connective tissue that makes steak break into tender strings across the palate. The protein felt dense and tender and juicy, though it was hard not to miss the unmistakable blast of salty flavor that comes from biting into something pink and medium-rare. The overall affect was enjoyable, if subtle. But I never felt like I stepped into the uncanny valley.

  19. #119
    Time for fungus? Indonesian watchmaker turns to mushroom leather

    Erlambang Ajidarma, head of research at Mycotech, the start-up supplying the mycelium leather to make the wrist straps, said his team was inspired by tempeh, a traditional Indonesian savory dish made by fermenting soybeans with fungus.

    “Finally we found one mushroom with a mycelium that can be made into binding material,” said Ajidarma, after testing several different types of mushrooms since 2016.

    Now, the company grows the fungus on sawdust and then harvests the leather. After scraping off the sawdust, it is dried and then cut to various sizes, depending on the use.

    The process is tedious, taking around three weeks to make 10 square meters of material. But Ajidarma thinks it’s worth it.

    It costs less to make mycelium leather than to make petroleum-based synthetic leathers, he says, and the mycelium manufacturing process produces a fraction of the carbon dioxide emitted by the cows killed to make real leather.

    Ajidarma’s team also uses dyes extracted from leaves, roots and food waste to color the mycelium leather, which they say absorbs dye faster than leather made from animal hide.

    Watchmaking company Pala Nusantara cuts and sews the leather into the straps for its watches, which are made with a wooden bezel.

  20. #120

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