May 13, 2014

morganlinforth:

Spore prints by Morgan Linforth 

Little mushroom supernovas. Spore prints, like fingerprints, are never the same from one to the next. And as with humans, they’re important for identification, be it via shape or spore color. ID’ing a mushroom can be a notoriously difficult process for even erudite fungus experts, though, so it’s only one component of pinning down a species.

Looks rad, too. —MN

March 16, 2014
I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with everyday pancake syrup that’s gotten a little more…vibrant…with age. But fostering floating colonies of fungi like some kind of moldy miniature Waterworld? Not so much.
Ann sent me this article not long back, having just enjoyed a full plate of waffles before looking inside her bottle of maple syrup. There she found a growing flotilla of what turned out to be a “xerophile,” a species more commonly found in hostile environments too dry for the average fungus. But isn’t syrup—well, isn’t it kind of—wet? Click through for the full story on this common breakfast interloper. —MN

I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with everyday pancake syrup that’s gotten a little more…vibrant…with age. But fostering floating colonies of fungi like some kind of moldy miniature Waterworld? Not so much.

Ann sent me this article not long back, having just enjoyed a full plate of waffles before looking inside her bottle of maple syrup. There she found a growing flotilla of what turned out to be a “xerophile,” a species more commonly found in hostile environments too dry for the average fungus. But isn’t syrup—well, isn’t it kind of—wet? Click through for the full story on this common breakfast interloper. —MN

February 24, 2014

room-temperature-beans:

actually no this one’s cuter
Microstoma floccosum

Haven’t had an official Quasi-Weekly Fungus Time in, like, months. I’m probably way off the mark on that estimation, but I’ve never heard the phrase “I’m sick and tired of all these cute mushrooms” uttered in earnest. —MN

(Source: snailriella, via somuchscience)

November 27, 2013
Bed Bugs’ Bane: A Fungus That Wipes Out Growing Menace

txchnologist:

image

by Karin Heineman, Inside Science

There has been a huge increase in bedbug infestations – in homes, hotels, dorm rooms and even movie theaters. Once a pest of the past, bedbugs now infest every state in the U.S. Many bedbugs are now resistant to pesticides, so getting rid of these pests is neither easy nor cheap.

Now microbiologists are using a fungus called Beauveria bassiana, a natural organism that causes disease in insects, against these blood-sucking pests. 

"One hundred percent of the bedbugs will die if they’ve contacted the fungus,” said Nina Jenkins, a microbiologist at The Pennsylvania State University.

Read More

This is really, really clever, but I do have a problem with this sentence, the first one when you click through to “read more.”

A fungus is a kind of microbe, different from bacteria and viruses.

A fungus can be a microbe, but not all fungi are microbes. Perhaps this specific fungus is a microbe, but given that the world’s largest living organism is a fungus in Oregon that occupies more than 2,300 acres. It is believed to be over 2,400 years old. So, nitpicking aside (ugh, sorry) this fungus-based insecticide could be a really great step forward in combating these horribly icky pests. ~AR

October 17, 2013

brilliantbotany:

Super cool slow motion video of a fast-moving fungus spore by Earth Unplugged on YouTube.

Because you’re honestly not going to find another clip combining livestock leavings, rifles, and the high-speed habits of spore-laden fungi. —MN

October 16, 2013
inspiration-imusam:

Stemonitis Slime Mold 

I finally understand where Jim Henson got the inspiration for Beaker’s hairdo. —MN

inspiration-imusam:

Stemonitis Slime Mold 

I finally understand where Jim Henson got the inspiration for Beaker’s hairdo. —MN

(via needsmoreresearch)

September 23, 2013

Welcome…to the Yeast of TOMORROWWWW! I know, way too obvious, but I had to. Mia in the Library found this one while sorting through old materials for filing. And by old, I mean 1949; back then, beer companies were apparently using their unparalleled yeast science as points of marketing pride. Quoth the pamphlet:
"From the very beginning of recorded history, man preferred and treasured certain beers, wines, and bread-starter doughs without knowing the scientific reason for his preference.
"Later, with the aid of the microscope, man found that this preference was actually due to the character of yeast strains. Progress, however, was extremely slow because man was still working with wild yeast strains."
Thankfully, the microscope and the microscopic instruments that came after made short work of brew progress (hopefully, most companies also stopped attributing everything to man), and beer science got down to the business of separating and cultivating yeast strains."Today, with hybridization of yeast still in its infancy, the possibilities for tomorrow are truly unlimited."
Not sure we’re still seeing that sort of assurance in today’s commercials—mostly pictures of harvested hops falling in slow motion, or chrome trains riding blizzards through beach parties. But there’s no denying the extent to which the beer industry has relied on plant and fungi science over the years. Stay tuned for more from the archives of our Mertz Library, be it weird or otherwise. —MN

World of Tomorrow

Welcome…to the Yeast of TOMORROWWWW! I know, way too obvious, but I had to. Mia in the Library found this one while sorting through old materials for filing. And by old, I mean 1949; back then, beer companies were apparently using their unparalleled yeast science as points of marketing pride. Quoth the pamphlet:

"From the very beginning of recorded history, man preferred and treasured certain beers, wines, and bread-starter doughs without knowing the scientific reason for his preference.

"Later, with the aid of the microscope, man found that this preference was actually due to the character of yeast strains. Progress, however, was extremely slow because man was still working with wild yeast strains."

Thankfully, the microscope and the microscopic instruments that came after made short work of brew progress (hopefully, most companies also stopped attributing everything to man), and beer science got down to the business of separating and cultivating yeast strains.

"Today, with hybridization of yeast still in its infancy, the possibilities for tomorrow are truly unlimited."

Not sure we’re still seeing that sort of assurance in today’s commercials—mostly pictures of harvested hops falling in slow motion, or chrome trains riding blizzards through beach parties. But there’s no denying the extent to which the beer industry has relied on plant and fungi science over the years. Stay tuned for more from the archives of our Mertz Library, be it weird or otherwise. —MN

August 29, 2013
thehort:

Mushroom awe

That guy in the front’s a little overzealous. —MN

thehort:

Mushroom awe

That guy in the front’s a little overzealous. —MN

(Source: offwhit-e)

July 29, 2013
We are shelves, we are Tables, we are meek, We are edible, Nudgers and shovers In spite of ourselves. Our kind multiplies: We shall by morning Inherit the earth. 
Our foot’s in the door.
— “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath
Having run the gauntlet of literary criticism that was my college education, yes, I know that Sylvia’s verse isn’t quite so literal. But it works regardless! —MN

We are shelves, we are 
Tables, we are meek, 
We are edible, 

Nudgers and shovers 
In spite of ourselves. 
Our kind multiplies: 

We shall by morning 
Inherit the earth. 

Our foot’s in the door.

— “Mushrooms” by Sylvia Plath

Having run the gauntlet of literary criticism that was my college education, yes, I know that Sylvia’s verse isn’t quite so literal. But it works regardless! —MN

(Source: theorphansarms, via mycology)

June 11, 2013
steepravine:

Hedgehog Mushroom Spikes
Forest to table in 5 hours. Tied for my favorite mushroom to eat.
(Salt Point, California - 3/2013)

I suspect these are more legal in New York City than their snuffly, prickly namesake. Now that we’re well into the season of the ‘shroom, anyone have any great mushroom recipes they’d like to share (culinary mushrooms, obviously)?

steepravine:

Hedgehog Mushroom Spikes

Forest to table in 5 hours. Tied for my favorite mushroom to eat.

(Salt Point, California - 3/2013)

I suspect these are more legal in New York City than their snuffly, prickly namesake. Now that we’re well into the season of the ‘shroom, anyone have any great mushroom recipes they’d like to share (culinary mushrooms, obviously)?

(via mycology)

May 28, 2013
When you’re standing in your backyard, head pounding, wishing those millions of Brood II cicadas would shut their yaps (or stop buckling their tymbals, if you want to be anatomically accurate), rest easy in the knowledge that you’re not the only one suffering the so-called wrath of a creepy, crawly mob. In a sense, the cicadas themselves definitely have it worse.
Maybe the most patient of all assassins, the Massospora fungus waits up to 17 years for the cicada horde to emerge, at which point it takes root in the insect’s abdomen and devours it. But that’s not the full extent of the awfulness. Rather than regale you with biological oddities as is my schtick, I’ll leave you to read on. You might even come away with a little empathy for the party noisemakers of the bug world.
On a far less terrifying note, we’ll be celebrating the return of the Brood II cicadas with all the right fanfare during June 1’s Cicada Serenades: Music, Mating, and Meaning. Presented by the World Science Festival, this concert is our piece of a much-loved annual celebration, embracing curiosity and exploration. And it might just help you understand why the buzzsaw overture of these humming bugs is so integral to the summer experience. —MN

When you’re standing in your backyard, head pounding, wishing those millions of Brood II cicadas would shut their yaps (or stop buckling their tymbals, if you want to be anatomically accurate), rest easy in the knowledge that you’re not the only one suffering the so-called wrath of a creepy, crawly mob. In a sense, the cicadas themselves definitely have it worse.

Maybe the most patient of all assassins, the Massospora fungus waits up to 17 years for the cicada horde to emerge, at which point it takes root in the insect’s abdomen and devours it. But that’s not the full extent of the awfulness. Rather than regale you with biological oddities as is my schtick, I’ll leave you to read on. You might even come away with a little empathy for the party noisemakers of the bug world.

On a far less terrifying note, we’ll be celebrating the return of the Brood II cicadas with all the right fanfare during June 1’s Cicada Serenades: Music, Mating, and Meaning. Presented by the World Science Festival, this concert is our piece of a much-loved annual celebration, embracing curiosity and exploration. And it might just help you understand why the buzzsaw overture of these humming bugs is so integral to the summer experience. —MN

May 12, 2013
So the headline on this story is indulging in a wee bit of hyperbole. Valley Fever, an illness caused by the fungus coccidioidomycosis, isn’t quite ravaging the ranks of Major League Baseball yet (only two players have come down with it), but there is always the possibility that one day it can.
Valley Fever is caused when people breathe in the spores of this fungus which thrives in hot, dry areas like the areas in Arizona where many MLB teams have spring training camps. And there’s been a real uptick in cases recently. On the surface it would seem that climate change would be the most obvious reason behind it’s uptick, but some experts think a more likely cause is the Sun Belt’s economic growth. As populations grow and development and building increase, so too does disruption to the ecosystem. ~AR
(via Valley Fever Throws Baseball a Curve: Scientific American)

So the headline on this story is indulging in a wee bit of hyperbole. Valley Fever, an illness caused by the fungus coccidioidomycosis, isn’t quite ravaging the ranks of Major League Baseball yet (only two players have come down with it), but there is always the possibility that one day it can.

Valley Fever is caused when people breathe in the spores of this fungus which thrives in hot, dry areas like the areas in Arizona where many MLB teams have spring training camps. And there’s been a real uptick in cases recently. On the surface it would seem that climate change would be the most obvious reason behind it’s uptick, but some experts think a more likely cause is the Sun Belt’s economic growth. As populations grow and development and building increase, so too does disruption to the ecosystem. ~AR

(via Valley Fever Throws Baseball a Curve: Scientific American)

April 28, 2013
oculi-ds:

birds nest fungus by ~shochin

They’re not eggs! At least not in any form that the tiniest of birds would recognize. But they do serve nearly the same function. What you see inside the “nest” of each fungal fruiting body are known as peridioles.
From everything repeated experiments have told mycologists, these small, spore-packed discs are dispersed when a raindrop falls into the bowl, splashing the peridioles every which way. Some stick to other plants and surfaces with the help of their trailing funiculus (think of it like…the sticky hands you get out of laundromat gumball machines). Others are accidentally eaten by animals and dispersed that way. Thus the circle of ‘shroomy life continues. —MN

oculi-ds:

birds nest fungus by ~shochin

They’re not eggs! At least not in any form that the tiniest of birds would recognize. But they do serve nearly the same function. What you see inside the “nest” of each fungal fruiting body are known as peridioles.

From everything repeated experiments have told mycologists, these small, spore-packed discs are dispersed when a raindrop falls into the bowl, splashing the peridioles every which way. Some stick to other plants and surfaces with the help of their trailing funiculus (think of it like…the sticky hands you get out of laundromat gumball machines). Others are accidentally eaten by animals and dispersed that way. Thus the circle of ‘shroomy life continues. —MN

(via mycology)

April 1, 2013
Pining for sunny (and warm) days. Wouldn’t mind seeing some fungus in the woods, either. —MN

Pining for sunny (and warm) days. Wouldn’t mind seeing some fungus in the woods, either. —MN

(via mycology)

February 21, 2013
Quasi-Weekly Fungus Time! Hawaii’s fungi are just as tropically chic as the rest of its flora. —MN
steepravine:

Mushrooms of Hawaii!
Waipio valley is heaven on earth, go there if you can and bring your 4 wheel drive. “real” pictures coming soon, couldn’t resist sharing this now. Found my first orange waffle mushroom (made that name up) and octopus stinkhorn!
(Waipio Valley, Hawaii - 2/2013)

Quasi-Weekly Fungus Time! Hawaii’s fungi are just as tropically chic as the rest of its flora. —MN

steepravine:

Mushrooms of Hawaii!

Waipio valley is heaven on earth, go there if you can and bring your 4 wheel drive. “real” pictures coming soon, couldn’t resist sharing this now. Found my first orange waffle mushroom (made that name up) and octopus stinkhorn!

(Waipio Valley, Hawaii - 2/2013)

(via flowerfood)

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