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28 posts tagged with fungus.
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hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

Exploring the Invisible

Dr. Simon Park is Exploring the Invisible, the world of microbial art, with Physarum (writeup), A New Field Guide To The Wild Flowers Of The Crystal World, Designing Flowers For A Bee-Less World, Ghost. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 17, 2014 - 2 comments

Dust, Devil : The Rise of Valley Fever

"All you have to do is take a breath at the wrong time. It will impact your lower lung, and the infection starts from there [...]. If you roll down the window driving from San Diego to Seattle, you could catch cocci while you're driving through, no question. That could happen, and it has happened." Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) is a fungal infection endemic to certain areas of the Southwest. The CDC has described it as a "silent epidemic"; between 1998 and 2011, reported cases increased tenfold. It's often misdiagnosed, but even when correctly-diagnosed, the prognosis can sometimes be grim: there is no vaccine, the price of the first-line drug has skyrocketed, and the treatments for more-severe cases often carry their own punishing side effects. While many groups (including NASA) seek to halt the spread, the disease continues to infect 20,000+ individuals each year. "It destroys lives,” said Dr. [Royce] Johnson [...]. Divorces, lost jobs and bankruptcy are incredibly common, not to mention psychological dislocation."
posted by julthumbscrew on Jan 13, 2014 - 31 comments

The jury's in... and they can't deny that view, either.

A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 14, 2013 - 81 comments

I wouldn't put my tongue on that.

Afterlife: Making rotten food beautiful.
posted by shakespeherian on May 24, 2012 - 18 comments

The Feds Were My Biggest Customer

On October 22, 2011 I was arrested by the DEA for cultivation and distribution of psilocybin mushrooms.
posted by telstar on Dec 31, 2011 - 88 comments

The amphibian plague

"There is a parallel between what amphibian taxonomists do these days and what homicide detectives do. Both arrive at scenes of mayhem. Maybe they solve the crime, but they are powerless to undo it." A fungal plague is killing the world's amphibians. Hundreds of species are already gone. There is no vaccine and no cure. There is, however, an ark.
posted by escabeche on Nov 17, 2011 - 29 comments

Spongiforma squarepantsii, a sponge-like fungi

What lives in the rainforest, under a tree? Spongiforma squarepantsii! Who resembles a sponge but is really a fungee*? Spongiforma squarepantsii! First discovered in a tropical forest in Borneo in 2010, S. squarepantsii resembles a sea sponge not only in outward appearance, but "[w]hen it's wet and moist and fresh, you can wring water out of it and it will spring back to its original size. Most mushrooms don't do that," as told by Dennis Desjardin, a mycology professor involved with the discovery. * I claim artistic license. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 17, 2011 - 32 comments

The fungus' share.

Mycologist James Scott got a contract to investigate a fungus at a distillery. What he found changed mycological history.
posted by pjern on Jun 1, 2011 - 37 comments

new branch in tree of life

Holy mama, a new clade. (via)
posted by Meatbomb on May 13, 2011 - 22 comments

Fungus of the Month by Tom Volk

Fungus of the month, since 1997. Discover the bright aqua green stain fungus, which turns wood green, and was used by woodworkers in the Renaissance to add natural greens to inlaid wood work. Stinky and obscene dog stinkhorn fungus (maybe NSFW), like pink wieners growing out of your mulch. And many more, poisonous, infectious (warning: gross), hallucinogenic, with interesting photos and stories, for what he calls "the myco-curious". Bonus: I survived the destroying angel, an account of what happens if you eat a poisonous Amanita mushroom and are really, really lucky. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Apr 30, 2011 - 22 comments

Zombie Ants

Once the fungus invades its victim’s body, it’s already too late. The invader spreads through the host in a matter of days. . . . Just before dying, the infected body—a zombie—grasps a perch as the mature fungal invader erupts from the back of the zombie’s head to rain down spores on unsuspecting victims below, starting the cycle again. This isn’t the latest gross-out moment from a George A. Romero horror film; it is part of a very real evolutionary arms race between a parasitic fungus and its victims, ants. (SL Smithsonian article)
posted by bearwife on Nov 4, 2010 - 80 comments

Soon, there may be no more bats.

Nine species of bats have been affected by White Nose Syndrome so far, and it has killed over one million bats to date. [more inside]
posted by bibliogrrl on Aug 24, 2010 - 36 comments

Ug99

"Indeed, 90 percent of the world’s wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm — from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe — as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories." [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Mar 1, 2010 - 36 comments

Industrial Strength Fungus

Industrial Strength Fungus. At an organic farm just outside Monterey, Calif., a super-eco building material is growing in dozens of darkened shipping containers. The farm is named Far West Fungi, and its rusting containers are full of all sorts of mushrooms--shiitake, reishi and pom-pom, to name a few. This new application of mushrooms is sometimes referred to as "mycotecture", but the idea of mycorestoration [TED talk: "6 ways mushrooms can save the world"] is not new. [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Feb 3, 2010 - 21 comments

The Crazy World of andernestborgnineasdominic!

A strange, cryptic compact disc was found while hiking in Joshua Tree National Park. [more inside]
posted by gcbv on Nov 24, 2009 - 85 comments

Bio-luminescent Shrooms!

Bio-luminescent Shrooms! [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Oct 5, 2009 - 23 comments

The Fungus Overlords

The Fungus Overlords
posted by Dumsnill on Jul 30, 2009 - 30 comments

I, for one, welcome our new mycological overlords

Mushrooms Save the World (long form) -- Paul Stamets on mycelia. Previously: 1 2 3 [bonus: slime molds]
posted by kliuless on Dec 31, 2008 - 20 comments

Fungi are weird

Silent spring : Deep in the radioactive bowels of the smashed Chernobyl reactor, a strange new lifeform is blooming.
posted by Burhanistan on Jul 25, 2008 - 46 comments

Fungus troubles caves

Fusarium solani, a fungus known for attacking tomatoes, has become a major problem in France's famous Lascaux Cave, a World Heritage site. Authorities say it's under control, but that's disputed. "They tell us the cave's condition is stable. But that's what they say about Ariel Sharon," said one anonymous expert quoted in a special report by Time magazine. The fungus is also believed responsible for a deadly epidemic of "White-Nose Syndrome" that has been killing bats in the Northeastern U.S. over the last few years. The fungus is durable: "Authorities began spraying massive doses of antibiotics and fungicides [in Lascaux] in an effort to stop the rapidly spreading organisms. Within weeks the molds reappeared quickly developing a resistance to the antibiotic sprays."
posted by Kirth Gerson on Jan 25, 2008 - 24 comments

Mushrooms vs. the Oil Spill

DIY activists have been using human hair mats to soak up the carcinogenic bunker oil that's been washing onto Bay Area beaches since the spill. Now they're inoculating the oil-soaked mats with mushrooms that will break down the oil into harmless compost. See also: fungi breaking down plastics, synthetic dyes and organopollutants generally. A bit more from mushroom guru Paul Stamets. (If you're so inclined, here's a link to donate to the non-profit that coordinated the hair mats.) [more inside]
posted by serazin on Nov 30, 2007 - 46 comments

Hulk Bugs

Gamma rays make certain microscopic fungi grow faster Researchers have found that melanin—the same pigment that's the natural ultraviolet filter in people's skin—might enable some fungi to harness the energy of gamma radiation as well as to shield themselves from it. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 20, 2007 - 24 comments

The future is not clean and antiseptic

Slime molds may control our future computers and robots, and fungi may protect us in outer space.
posted by bad grammar on Jun 16, 2007 - 25 comments

That's one humungous fungus.

Prototaxites, what is it? Is it wood? Is it algae? Why, it's a humungous fungus. Scientists were long baffled by the mystery organism, which was recently verified to be a 350 million year old fungus that stood more than twenty feet tall. It doesn't look like much in the hands of Geologist Kevin Boyce, but the far sexier artist's rendering gives you a better idea of what an odd geological bird Prototaxites was.
posted by The Straightener on Apr 26, 2007 - 22 comments

Fungal remixes

Australian scientist Cameron Jones puts nanocrystals on the bottom of his CDs. And prints fractals on them. And grows bacteria, yeasts, and fungi on them. What's perhaps the most surprising about this is that when these CDs are actually played, they sound pretty cool. More details can be found here and here. [Last four links are MP3, MP3, PDF, and PDF, respectively.]
posted by Johnny Assay on Aug 1, 2005 - 4 comments

Doctor Fungus!

Think you have a fungal infection? Think you've got fungus growing in your building, or home? Want to see macroscopic images of people, animals, and plants that have fungal infections? Who you gonna call? Doctor Fungus. 'Dedicated to timely dissemination of information about fungal infections via the world-wide web.'
posted by misteraitch on Aug 26, 2003 - 9 comments

Morel Sightings 2002

Morel Sightings 2002 There's a fungus among us. Morels are one of the most highly sought-after, delectable wild mushrooms. Each spring, morel hunting goes into high gear in many parts of the country. This site has state-by-state reports. (mine is in MA) You can learn more about these spongy fungi here and here. If you do go out foraging for them, just remember...if you don't know it, throw it!
posted by martk on May 23, 2002 - 14 comments

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