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Thread: Fungi

  1. #141
    'Everyone loves a mushroom': London show celebrates art of the fungi

    Francesca Gavin has gathered together works by 35 artists, designers and musicians to explore the world of mushrooms for a show opening in January at Somerset House in London.

  2. #142
    FROM THE FIELD: Nepal’s magic mushrooms

    The traditional cultivation of oyster mushrooms in Nepal, which has required burning large quantities of wood, has been replaced by the environmentally friendly use of solar power, thanks to a project supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

    Mushrooms are nutritious, do not require soil in which to grow, and represent a high value crop in the mountainous Asian country. However, the soil-free growing method does require a steaming process in a drum, using firewood.

    The practice has led to deforestation and an increase in harmful climate change-inducing carbon dioxide. But now solar water heaters are being used as part of the process.

  3. #143

  4. #144
    Psilocybin Mushrooms Becoming One of the Hottest Investment Stories of 2020

    The psilocybin mushroom story is in the early stages of a multi-year boom. In fact, we’re already seeing a groundswell of interest, as mushrooms become a promising candidate for anxiety and depression because it “appears to disrupt the sorts of engrained brain activity patterns that are the hallmark of those diseases,” says Business Insider. That news holds sizable promise for companies, such as The Yield Growth Corp. (CSE:BOSS)(OTC:BOSQF).

  5. #145
    New chanterelle cardboard packaging is a success in Scandinavia

    This autumn NNZ released this brand new package. The cardboard and perforated box with its striking shape has been specially developed for chanterelles. During the development and testing period, it has been proven that the packaging is ideal for keeping chanterelles fresh and extending its shelf life. Shelf presentation and efficiency in transport have also been taken into account during design. The Magic Box is already being used successfully by several retailers.

  6. #146
    In Athens, A Mushroom Specialty Shop

    Despite the image that Greece wants to sell the world as a holiday destination of eternal summer with beautiful beaches and clear water, the fact remains that it is a very mountainous country – almost a third of Greek land consists of hills and mountains. Most are forested, hosting a great diversity of ecosystems that offer fertile ground for mushrooms in particular.

    That said, there are almost no traditional Greek dishes using mushrooms, and many people avoid them altogether, even the common cultivated varieties, from fear of getting sick. For many, meanwhile, mushrooms don’t evoke the best memories: During the 70s and 80s, the tinned variety was mainly used in cooking, as fresh cultivated mushrooms were rare and expensive. Although this picture has changed quite drastically in the last 20 years, during which time the cultivation of both common and rare varieties has increased in the country, Greeks are still a bit wary when it comes to mushrooms.

    The lack of education on how to use mushrooms in the kitchen, however, did not deter Stathis Giannatos from opening, in 2016, the first ever shop in the Athens area selling wild and cultivated mushrooms, both fresh and dried, as well as an enormous variety of mushroom-based products, all of them strictly of Greek origin.

  7. #147

  8. #148
    Article: Fungi-tree symbiosis is perhaps not what we thought

    It's well accepted that trees give their fungal friends in the soil (ectomycorrhizal fungi) sugar (C) in exchange for certain nutrients, notably nitrogen (N). It's been established that a tree that suffers from nitrogen deficiency boosts the amount of sugar it sends to its roots.

    It has been presumed that the tree does this in order to attract fungi and stimulate fungi to give it more nitrogen.

    This paper turns this reasonable assumption on its head. If the soil is very nitrogen deficient, more sugar makes the fungus keep more nitrogen for itself (presumably in order to grow), reducing the availability of nitrogen both to the tree and other soil organisms.

    The authors hypothesise that the presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi in boreal forests (which are nitrogen-limited) reduces the availability of nitrogen to plants and helps slow-growing species (like conifers) retain their dominance. If this is true, then chanterelles are a bioweapon used by conifers to keep the soil poor and prevent less hardy plants from thriving.

  9. #149
    Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

    NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

    The myco-architecture project, coming from NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California’s Silicon Valley, is making prototypes of technology that would be capable of growing habitats on the moon and Mars.

    “Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle – carrying our homes with us on our backs – a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,”

    said Lynn Rothschild in a NASA news release. Rothschild is the principal investigator on the project.

    “Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there.”

    Mycelia is what makes up the main part of the fungus and according to NASA, can make new structures with the right conditions.

    So what would these homes look like?

    The project imagines human explorers carrying a compact habitat built out of a lightweight material with dormant fungi that would last on a long journey to places like Mars.

    By unfolding the structure and adding water, the fungi would be able to grow around the structure’s framework into a human habitat, all without contaminating the Martian environment.

    NASA’s myco-architecture project won’t just design a shell, it will design a home that has its own ecosystem. The human habitat would have three layers.

    The outermost layer is made up of ice to serve as protection from radiation.

    The second layer would take water from the ice and photosynthesize, using outside light that shines through the outer layer to produce oxygen for humans and nutrients for the third layer of the home.

    The third layer would actually grow into a sturdy home, baked to kill the lifeforms, avoid contamination on Mars and provide structural integrity.

    According to NASA, this technology has the potential to come back to Earth as well in order to design green and sustainable living solutions on this planet.

    “When we design for space, we’re free to experiment with new ideas and materials with much more freedom than we would on Earth,” Rothschild said. “And after these prototypes are designed for other worlds, we can bring them back to ours.”

  10. #150

  11. #151
    Italian wine and truffles to be at Dubai Expo 2020

    ROME - An agreement has been signed to promote Italian wine and truffles ahead of the Dubai Expo 2020.

    Signatories were the Italian truffle academy AIT and the Italian sommeliers' association AIS, in the presence of Foreign Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano and the head of the Cia-Agricoltori Italiani farmers trade union Dino Scanavino.

    The aim of the agreement was to create an alliance between the world of truffles and that of wine, with strategies for cultural development and territorial marketing.

    The approach of Dubai Expo 2020, the first in the Arab world, is an invaluable opportunity for the food and wine sector, Di Stefano said.

    The two associations will be delivering the agreement to the foreign ministry and the general commissioner for the Italy section of Dubai Expo 2020, Paolo Glisenti.

    Among the planned initiatives is to create a network of truffle restaurants across Italy with wine as an accompaniment.

    ''This is an agreement between two similar worlds that represent a 'democratic luxury','' AIT chairman Giuseppe Cristini said, noting that Italy has many types of truffles and wines for various budgets.

    AIS chief Antonello Maietta said that they are ''two national products that the sommelier worlds can contribute to by telling their history, a union that is born from respect for the environment and the protection of biodiversity.''

  12. #152
    Just realized this huge reference to Paul Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery. The character of the same name is an engineer who developed a "Spore Drive" based on space mushrooms that allow to travel via a mycelial network in space. Mind blown.

  13. #153
    Nanoparticles of Fungal Spores Have Been Detected Floating in Our Atmosphere

    We all take a lot of breaths every day – it's sort of essential to living – so the science of what we're actually taking into our lungs is hugely important. That air might contain two to three times more in the way of fungal spore fragments than previously thought, according to a new study.

    Not only could these fungal cell nanoparticles contribute to asthma and allergic reactions, they could also be significant in cloud formation – particularly clouds made up of ice crystals, which are known to form around similar particles.

    "These fragments are most likely bits of fungal spores that have burst after swelling with water," says chemist Michael Lawler, from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). "It was unexpected to identify them as fungal fragments.

    "The appearance of large numbers of atmospheric nanoparticles is usually ascribed to reactions of gases in the atmosphere, growing up from molecules rather than breaking down from larger particles."

    The fungal cell fragments measured about 30 nanometres in size – incredibly small, when you consider a piece of paper is some 100,000 nanometres thick. The researchers think previous studies may have missed these fragments because they weren't working at a small enough scale.

    Intact cells floating through the atmosphere can be thousands of nanometres in size, and that means the biological 'shrapnel' from these fungal spores are able to penetrate much deeper into the lungs. That's a potential problem for asthma and allergies, and might help explain why rainfall affects asthma in some.

    Then there's cloud formation. Based on previous studies, these nanoparticles are likely to be excellent candidates for ice nuclei – capable of turning into ice crystals in the atmosphere and contributing to the creation of clouds, a crucial factor in short-term weather forecasts and long-term climate predictions.

    "Large, intact biological cells are extremely rare in the atmosphere, but we've identified fungal nanoparticles in orders-of-magnitude higher concentrations, so if some or all of these are good ice nuclei, they could play a role in ice cloud formation," says Lawler.

    The next step is to further analyse the relationship between these cell pieces and cloud formation, which should lead to more accurate climate modelling, as well as a better understanding of how the air we breath could change as the climate does.

  14. #154
    Fungal decisions can affect climate

    When we think of climate change, we tend to think about greenhouse gases, fossil fuels and pollution. Most of us don't think about fungi.

    But Kathleen Treseder does. Treseder, an ecologist at the University of California, Irvine, studies how fungi can affect climate and vice-versa.

    "Fungi are important to consider," she says. "They can influence nearly every aspect of ecosystems, especially processes that occur in soils."

    New research from her lab shows that fungi can have different lifestyles in response to climate change. These findings can be incorporated into computational models that simulate ecosystems.

    "We may be able to better predict shifts in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and climate change," says Treseder. "That can help us estimate how much, when and where climate change will affect human societies."

    Fungi are terrific decomposers. They break down organic material to get nutrients and energy. In doing so, they turn complex chemicals into simpler elements, such as carbon. In fact, "fungi are an integral part of the global carbon cycle," says Treseder. "They can move carbon from decomposing material into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide."

    But fungi don't just release carbon. They can also store it. For example, environmental stress can cause fungi to strengthen their cell walls. They do so by using organic compounds that contain carbon. These carbon compounds can stay in soils for years to decades or even longer.

    Treseder's research explores how fungi decide whether to use limited energy and resources to decompose material or for other processes. "No one can do everything well, and the same goes for fungi," says Treseder. "If fungi invest resources into one activity like decomposition, then those resources won't be available to support another activity like tolerating environmental stress."

    These resource allocation decisions become even more important in a world with changing climate. "For example, will more extreme climates select for fungi that tolerate stress well, but cannot decompose dead material as efficiently?" says Treseder. "If so, then their production of carbon dioxide might decrease, slowing climate change."

    "We found that where drought stress increased, the amount of fungi that invested more in strengthening cell walls and less in decomposition tended to increase," says Treseder. In contrast, in more moderate conditions, the reverse occurred. Fungi that decomposed more efficiently became more common.

    These findings suggest that fungi might store more carbon as global climate becomes more extreme. On the other hand, they might release more carbon dioxide in moderate climates. "These opposing feedbacks would not have been apparent without examining trade-offs among fungal traits," says Treseder.

    Treseder is working to incorporate these findings into new and existing models of climate change. One particular area of focus are Earth system models that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change uses for its official predictions. "We hope our research improves predictions of future trajectories of climate change," says Treseder.

  15. #155

  16. #156
    Mushroom markets see strong demand after holidays

    The run-ups to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are peak sales periods for mushrooms, but there’s a post-holiday run on the product, as well, marketers say.

    “Market pricing increased in the last quarter, but demand never lost any momentum,” Wilder said.

    “We are seeing consistent and strong growth in both retail and foodservice, which is a great indication that mushrooms are remaining top of mind for consumers.

    “We are seeing a strong demand for mushrooms continue after the holidays,” he said. “I believe there are more consumers who are purchasing mushrooms every week as a staple item, like apples, potatoes, lettuce, etc.”

    The cold-weather months generally bode well for mushroom sales, Donovan said.

    “Moving into the winter season, we normally see more home cooking, and mushrooms usage is strong this time of year,” he said.

    “While fresh mushrooms continue to drive all mushroom sales, generally, the consumer interest in mushrooms as a super food and in mushroom properties, such as ergothienine, is driving a shift in branding and marketing to emphasize the goodness of mushrooms”

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