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Thread: Fungi

  1. #161
    Iraqi truffles hit Kuwaiti market after long absence

    Iraqi truffle, after many years of absence, has returned to the Kuwait market, reports Al-Rai daily. It has taken over the market stands without having to compete with other types of truffles, such as the Saudi, African and Iranian truffles that are yet to reach the local market.

    The daily toured the truffle market in Al-Rai area, and met vendor Abdul-Zahra Al-Nouri, who affirmed that Kuwaitis love truffles, and consider them as “gold of the table” due to its exquisite taste and richness of vitamins and minerals, especially since they are formed under natural plants and appear in the springtime.

    Al-Nouri revealed that the prices of the Iraqi truffles range between USD 6.60 and USD 26.30 per kilogram, given that the Iraqi truffles are currently dominating the local market until truffles from Saudi Arabia, Africa and Iran hit the market, probably sometime next week.

    He said there are different types of truffles, such as “Ikhlaas” and “Zubaidi” which is the local favorite, stressing that the size of the truffles should be medium, because the large ones are tasteless when they are eaten, and the small ones becomes smaller when cleaned and fails to meet the customer’s need.

    Also, truffle vendor Abu Fahd said the market this year had a weak beginning without any confirmed reasons and there was lack of demand even though the prices range between USD 6.60 and USD 26.30, which is an affordable price for everyone. He stressed that the Iraqi truffles are currently available in the market, as they are imported directly from Iraq.

  2. #162

    The farmers of Japan say thunderstorms are good luck– they make the mushrooms grow. And mushrooms and thunderstorms are partners in folklore all over the world.

    Science, alas, has had little to say about mushrooms and thunderstorms. Until now. Recently, scientists in Japan have demonstrated a link between lightning and prolific mushroom fruiting.

    In Japan, though, electrical stimulation has been used in the production of Shiitake, Buna-shimejo, and eryngii mushrooms for almost half a decade. And this technology doesn’t seem to be limited to mushrooms, as farmers are also using electromagnetic field technology in the production of tomato, lettuce, strawberry, and some ornamental plants.

    Lightning is notoriously disobedient, so Islam and Ohga built a “Small Population Lightning Generator” (SPLG), conveniently powered by rechargeable AA batteries.

    This device can be wheeled through the forest, and administers 50kV electric pulses to the ground through its electrode wheels. No, it isn’t exactly like lightning—it’s more like the shock you get from a metal doorknob after dancing in your polyester leisure suit. The SPLG delivers maybe 500 milliJoules of energy per zap; a bolt of lightning might deliver one billion times more than that. Other studies have delivered shocks as low as 30kV and shown increases in mushroom yields.

    One Fall day in a Japanese forest, Islam and Ohga trundled the SPLG across their 2 by 3 meter experimental plots in parallel passes that were each 0.10 meters apart.

    The results were yields of matsutake mushrooms just about double the yields in unzapped control plots. A monstrous flush came two weeks after the pulse and a second one nearly as large 3 weeks after. But it wasn’t just the quantity that increased, the quality, as measured by weight and size of individual matustake mushrooms also showed dramatic increases: Harvests from the zapped plots were, on average, almost 70% heavier then controls.

  3. #163
    Mushrooms may alleviate features of pre-eclampsia

    New research reveals that a substance most commonly found in mushrooms could help alleviate some features of pre-eclampsia.

    Pre-eclampsia is a complex disorder of pregnancy that can have potentially serious consequences for women and their babies. There is currently is no cure for pre-eclampsia other than delivery, which can present a major medical problem if the condition results in an extremely premature birth.

    Now, scientists from the University of Liverpool and University College Cork (UCC) have shown that a natural diet‐derived substance, L-ergothioneine, can alleviate some of the features of this condition.

  4. #164
    Synthetic mushroom toxin

    New synthetic route for amanitin, a therapeutically interesting mushroom toxin

    The death cap mushroom is highly toxic. However, some of its toxins can also be healing: amanitins are potential components for antibody-based cancer treatments. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, German scientists have now introduced a new synthetic route for α-amanitin. Their method seems suitable for production on a larger scale, finally making enough of the toxin available for further research.

  5. #165
    Sundance Review: The Truffle Hunters is a Stately, Charming Look into an Age-Old Tradition

    “If you’re not picky, you can eat them on anything.” So says one of the elite group of experienced, elder Italian truffle hunters portrayed in Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw’s stately, charming new documentary, regarding their prized possessions.

    The only issue is these delicacies from the ground are impossible to find without knowledge, skill, and a trusted dog. And when they are miraculously discovered, they go for an incredible amount of money.

    The Truffle Hunters explores this age-old tradition of culinary treasure-hunting and the clash of passion and commerce around such a specific way of life.

  6. #166
    Fungi that EATS radiation found thriving inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor could be used like a 'sun block' for humans to protect against deadly rays

    A strand of fungi which spawned inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and eats radiation could allow humans to insulate against deadly rays.

    In 1991, five years after the disaster which rocked Ukraine, the black fungi was found sprouting up the walls of the abandoned reactor which had been flooded with gamma.

    Baffled how it managed to survive the extreme conditions, scientists examined the microorganism - and were even more excited with their findings.

    In addition to not perishing, they discovered that the fungi actually grows towards the radiation, as if attracted to it.

    This is because of its large amounts of melanin - the pigment which turns skin dark - and allows the fungi to absorb normally harmful rays which it then converts into chemical energy.

    In the same way in which plants convert carbon dioxide and chlorophyll into oxygen and glucose via photosynthesis, the fungi sapped up deadly rays which allowed it to produce energy.

    This process - hailed radiosynthesis - has captured the attention of scientists because of its potentially revolutionary implications.

    Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a research scientist at NASA who is leading the experiments on the Cryptococcus neoformans fungi, believes that by extracting its radiation-absorbing power and manufacturing it in drug form, it could be used as a 'sun block' against toxic rays.

    It would allow cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, nuclear power plant engineers and airline pilots to operate without fear of absorbing a deadly dose of rays, Venkateswaran envisaged to Scientific American magazine.

    The fungi's radiation-converting power could also be used to power electrical appliances, with it being touted as a possible biological answer to solar panels.

    One anonymous researcher who specialises in the field also mooted its prospective role in developing biotechnology.

    They explained on an online forum: 'The fungi that grow in there (Chernobyl reactor) are radiotrophic fungi, that are rich in melanin.

    'Melanin absorbs radiation and converts it into other forms of energy (including electric).

    'My research is into the use of melanin in conjunction with water to convert electromagnetic radiation into electrical energy.

    'This technology will probably find its place in biotechnology as it is non toxic and biocompatible.'

    Advances in using the powers of the fungi for medicinal purposes were gradual, but have been boosted in recent years by an ongoing study which saw samples of it sent into space.

    By growing it in the International Space Station, where the radiation level is hiked compared to that on Earth, Venkateswaran and Professor Clay Wang of the University of Southern California were able to monitor mutation.

    When microorganisms are put under more stressful environments, they release different molecules, which could further out understanding of the fungi and how it can be used to develop radiation-blocking drugs for humans.

  7. #167
    More demand for Swiss mushrooms

    Swiss mushroom producers were able to increase sales of Champignons Suisses Edelpilzen in 2019 by 13% to 385 tonnes compared to the previous year, writes the Swiss Mushroom Producers Association (VSP) in a press release. Producers of pearl oyster and king oyster mushrooms could increase their sales, while shiitake sales remained constant compared to the previous year.

  8. #168
    Edible mushrooms help to keep skin young (clinical study - 2017)

    If you often consume shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms or other edible mushrooms, your skin will stay young longer. This is suggested by a small epidemiological study published by Japanese researchers at the Kyoto Medical Center in the Journal of Biomedicine.

  9. #169
    715-Million-Year-Old Fungi Microfossils Found

    An international team of researchers has found the microscopic fungal filaments and mycelium-like structures in 715-million-year-old (Neoproterozoic Era) dolomitic shale from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    “The presence of fungi in this transitional area between water and land leads us to believe that these microscopic mushrooms were important partners of the first plants that colonized the Earth’s surface around 500 million years ago.”

    “This is a major discovery, and one that prompts us to reconsider our timeline of the evolution of organisms on Earth,” Professor Bonneville said.

    “The next step will be to look further back in time, in even more ancient rocks, for evidence of those microorganisms that are truly at the origins of the animal kingdom.”

  10. #170
    Argentinian start-up develops 'novel compound' food colors from fungi

    Operating in both Silicon Valley and Argentina, Michroma uses CRISPR-engineered filamentous fungi to create novel, natural food colors, and is already attracting interest from multinational food manufacturers.

  11. #171
    Mushrooms could address vitamin D deficiencies, 'global public health issue', new research finds

    Leaving mushrooms out in the sun may sound like an odd idea but researchers say that sunbathing your mushrooms increases their vitamin D context nearly eightfold. New findings funded by Hort Innovation outline the health impact of mushrooms under UV light.

    “A recent evaluation of random controlled trials showed that UV-exposed mushrooms are effective in increasing active vitamin D levels, especially in adults deficient in vitamin D, and studies show that it is just as effective as supplements at increasing vitamin D levels in the blood,” says Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore of Nutrition Research Australia.

    The lead researcher of the project goes on to explain that placing five button mushrooms or one portobello mushroom under UV light for 10-15 minutes generates about 24 micro-grams of vitamin D.

    This unit is significant, research suggests, being nearly 1000 international units - the recommended amount of vitamin D according to Australian nutritional guidelines. FayetMoore details that fungi like mushrooms are already predisposed to something called 'previtamin D' - or ergosterol. This high concentration of of ergosterol means that the common mushroom has a high potential to produce vitamin D.

    What happens is that the 'pre-vitamin D' - which is similar to the structure and function of that substance found in human skin - is converted to vitamin D when exposed to UV light.

  12. #172
    Corona virus affects domestic sales and export equally

    In China the influence of this new virus on domestic sales of fruit and vegetables has been growing every day for more than a month now.

    One fruit trader from Sichuan explained the situation as follows: "We have encountered unmarketable conditions for our products in recent weeks. This is the combined effect of policies for containment and public fear of infection. Many people have decided to stay in their own homes and few people are still willing to go out for shopping. Fruit in particular is not a necessity, so only a small number of people is willing to go out and buy fruit. Some companies resumed operations in the last few days and we also received some orders from supermarkets, but we do not have enough workers, so we find it difficult to keep up with our delivery targets. Offline sales are quite slow, but online sales remain at a regular level. However, because the holidays are extended and many warehouses have not yet resumed operations, many of our orders are still waiting to be processed."

    The corona virus did not just affect sales conditions in the domestic fruit market. The export industry felt the impact as well. Manager Sun works at a frozen fruit and vegetable export company. According to her, "although most foreign traders can work from home, the physical product processing aspect of business requires people to gather in groups. We expect to resume business on February 9th. Many of the export orders have been delayed."

    A ginger exporter from Shandong stated the following: "We had planned to ship three containers full of ginger before the 15th of January, but now we are forced to halt our operations. We are unable to deliver our products on time."

    The balance between supply and demand in the international market is disturbed because China is unable to deliver on time. This in turn has a chain effect on overseas markets. One frozen garlic supplier explained the situation: "In addition to several reasons for delayed delivery, there is also a reduction in the number of overseas orders. The price soared in the last few days. Clients with products are able to make a sizable profit."

    Reports show that the prices of fresh ginger and garlic in the market of Pakistan increased fourfold. Although Russia did not completely prohibit all Chinese fruit and vegetable import, they did severely restrict import from China, which massively reduced the volume of Chinese fruit and vegetables in the Russian market. Still, the few products there are already twice as expensive in comparison with several weeks ago. Many Russian importers are looking for suppliers from other countries to replace Chinese imports.

    One supplier from Guangzhou gave the following statement: "Transport in the Shenzhen and Hong Kong area continues for 360 days per year, so as a transport company we can not afford to halt our operations. The current processing speed of shipping containers is still regular. There is no stagnation in our port."

  13. #173
    UK: Mushrooms imported from afar, while British growers can supply enough

    Some 25 percent of mushrooms sold in UK supermarkets have travelled more than 800 miles. This is quite the carbon footprint, certainly when we keep in mind that British producers are more than able to supply the country.

    Nearly half of shoppers said they had bought food and wrongly assumed it was sourced in Britain and Ireland, according to a study by industry body the Mushroom Bureau.

    A total of 13 percent are sourced at least 800 miles away, mainly in the Netherlands, with 12 percent from Polish farms 1,100 miles away. Tesco has stated that 90 percent of its mushrooms were sourced in the UK and Ireland, while Morrisons sourced 100 percent. Sainsbury’s and Asda did not give figures.

  14. #174
    Castile-La Mancha produces half of Spain's mushrooms

    Half of the Spanish mushroom production comes from the region of Castile-La Mancha, where about 40,000 tons are harvested per year, with a turnover of 40 million Euro per year.

  15. #175
    Mushrooms are the new grocery aisle celebrities

    People are scooping up mushrooms so swiftly that manufacturers are rushing to equal blossoming need.

    “We haven’t run out as yet, but we’re definitely trying hard to keep up,” claimed Gale Ferranto, that assists run her family members’s third-generation service, Bella Mushroom Farms, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

  16. #176
    Mushroom marangue and coomies at the San Diego Mycological Society's Mushroom Fair in Balboa Park [oc]

  17. #177
    Mushrooms as a houseplant

    I made myself a pretty little moss terrarium and have been thinking about what else to propigate in there.... Are there any small, colorful mushrooms you guys can think of that would make a good houseplant?? I don't have pets or kids, so toxicity isn't a big deal.

  18. #178
    Mushroom price stable in China

    Currently, the company is not in business due to coronavirus. "We need to wait and see when we can resume business, but now, we are strictly following the government's control guidelines. When we resume business, we plan to expand our export business and supply more countries with quality mushrooms."

  19. #179
    Why You’re Suddenly Seeing Mushrooms Everywhere

    Mushrooms are everywhere you look right now.

    There's mushroom life drawing and mushroom-focused supper clubs; a growing fetish for 18th century adaptogenic teas, mushroom skincare and fashionable foraging.

    There is currently even a free exhibition at Somerset House dedicated to fungi-inspired art and design, which culminates in a shop full of mushroom paraphernalia and the opportunity to enjoy a mini mushroom facial from skincare brand Origins.

    Mushroom fever doesn’t stop there; the psychedelic properties of some species are a legitimate area of interest for scientists working out how to treat a range of mental health issues.

  20. #180
    This Startup Is Building A Closed Loop System: A Future Where Shopping Is Zero-Waste

    We have all heard the age-old story of the milkman — the epitome of convenience before the invention of the refrigerator. Fresh milk was delivered right to your door and the empty bottles would be whisked away. While this seems to be a way of the past, what if this technique was resurrected with our products today? (A closed loop system, if you will.)

    Meet Loop, a startup focused on creating a platform for helping consumers live zero-waste lifestyles, is doing just that. Operating under recycling company Terracycle, Loop’s thesis is that product packaging is the killer when it comes to how the buying process contributes to waste.

    Partnering with some of the largest household companies such as Tide, Pantene, and Häagen-Dazs, Loop offers popular products in reusable containers. Highly durable and sustainable materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum, and glass, are used to redesign well-known products in a design-conscious manner. Plus, the packaging has a minimum threshold of ten reuse cycles.

    Weir emphasizes that Loop strives to be durable, cleanable, and circular (reusable) with its packaging. After these ten cycles, Loop has a 35% lower environmental impact compared to regular eCommerce. The startup also optimizes its supply chain to make it as sustainable as possible by sourcing locally whenever possible.

    At the same time, Loop provides consumers an assortment of products, which has helped the company expand into more market sectors. And by refining its packaging and design quality, the startup wants to convince consumers who aren’t typically big on sustainability to come aboard.

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