Magic Mushroom Drug Lifts Depression in Human Trial - "The findings show that more research in this field is now needed. 'This is the first time that psilocybin has been investigated as a potential treatment for major depression', says lead author Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London."
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]
Previously 1 , Previously 2)
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]
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]
Mushrooms Save the World (long form) -- Paul Stamets on mycelia. Previously: 1 2 3 [bonus: slime molds]
Soon you may find yourself in the company of mushrooms. If you're curious about them, Mykoweb, Tom Volk's Fungi (especially his FOTM section), Fungal Jungal, David Fischer's American Mushrooms, MushroomExpert.com, BCERN's Matchmaker and the recently mentioned Roger's Mushrooms are remarkably handy, replete with descriptions and keys for reading up and identifying whether something growing in your yard is heavenly or hellish. The North American Mycological Association maintains a list of affiliated clubs, too, if you want to enlist help in identifying something.
Paul Stamets (previously discussed here) says mushrooms are potent antiviral and antibacterial agents, and they also might end up saving the Earth. I wonder what the fungi would say (or sing.) [Via Disinformation.]
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!