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Canada's New Scourge: World's Deadliest Mushroom

May have just claimed a 3-year-old victim in Victoria

(Newser) - Twenty years ago, residents of British Columbia in northwestern Canada didn't have to worry about the deadliest mushroom in the world. But Amanita phalloides, the "death cap" mushroom, likely hitched a ride on trees being imported into the area to beautify city streets and is now flourishing, resulting... More »

Truffle Oil Is a 'Remarkably Successful Con'

Truffles are known for their scarcity, but not even trace amounts appear in truffle oil

(Newser) - For years, truffle oil has promised to bring consumers the hard-to-find truffle with convenience and a longer shelf life. Problem is, truffles are neither long-lasting nor convenient—which is part of what makes them so exciting and expensive, reports Priceonomics . Well, it turns out the oil, often marked as "... More »

Coyotes Staring Down Drivers May Be Stoned

They may have consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms

(Newser) - In Canada, coyotes build snowmen . In Marin County, Calif., they get high on mushrooms—or so it seems. At least one and possibly two coyotes have been spotted acting a bit oddly along Highway 1 near Bolinas, reports Pacific Sun . Residents describe an animal forcing nighttime drivers to stop on... More »

Mushrooms Make It Rain

'Nothing else works like this in nature'

(Newser) - It turns out mushrooms may be better for more than topping pizzas. Who knew? According to a study published Wednesday, mushrooms may actually help produce the rain they need to live. Discovery reports researchers documented a previously unknown system in which rain makes mushrooms grow, mushrooms release spores into the... More »

How Portobello Mushrooms May Power Your Phone

Their porous structure is key

(Newser) - It isn't happening just yet, but a new scientific paper shows that it's possible, and perhaps even advantageous, to make batteries out of organic biological materials that have the added benefit of being cheap, environmentally friendly, and easy to produce, reports CNET . Engineers at the University of California,... More »

Migrants' New Peril: Death Caps

Some may be mistaking the poisonous mushrooms for similar, edible varieties

(Newser) - As if the thousands of migrants streaming into Europe haven't already encountered enough roadblocks, another peril looms: poisonous mushrooms known as death caps (Amanita phalloides). They resemble a number of varieties one can safely eat, and those who mistakenly forage for them can experience fatal liver and kidney damage... More »

Why Some Mushrooms Glow in the Dark

It helps them distribute their spores

(Newser) - If you catch them at the right time, some mushrooms have a pretty cool trick up their sleeves: They can glow in the dark. Some 71 of the 100,000 known species of fungus are bioluminescent, Reuters reports, and now researchers can explain why. It's about reproduction, a study... More »

3 New Mushroom Species Discovered Supermarket

Scientists put a packet of dried porcini mushrooms under microscope

(Newser) - That scientists discovered three new species of mushrooms isn't all that unusual. That they did so in their local supermarket is why it's making headlines. Scientists in London picked up a packet of dried porcini mushrooms at the grocery store and then used a technique known as DNA... More »

Mushroom-Shaped Critter in Deep Sea Vexes Biologists

Animal found in 1986, only now being scientifically described

(Newser) - From afar, the deep-sea animal species Dendrogramma enigmatica resembles a chanterelle mushroom. Upon closer inspection, though, the creatures seem to belong to the animal, not fungi, kingdom. And yet they cannot be classified under any existing animal group, perhaps necessitating an entire rewriting of the early tree of life, not... More »

'Space Sex' Geckos Come Back Frozen to Death

Reproductive systems didn't necessarily fail—shuttle's heating system did

(Newser) - Oops. A Russian space mission meant to test the effect of weightlessness on the gecko's reproductive system didn't quite go as planned. It's not (necessarily) that the geckos weren't mating, it's that all five of them came back dead. And they weren't killed by... More »

N. Korea Proclaims Creation of Fungus Sports Drink

Mmm, liquified mushrooms

(Newser) - Gatorade better watch its back: North Korea's scientists have invented a "very effective" sports drink that they claim can both enhance physical ability and speed recovery, the Korean Central News Agency reports. The miracle ingredient? "Mushroom fungus." While the report doesn't say much beyond that... More »

Man Tears Off Own Penis, Blames Mushrooms

He almost died from blood loss

(Newser) - Something weird is in the mushrooms in Michigan's Ypsilanti Township: Police say a man ripped off part of his own penis, almost killing himself through blood loss, after taking hallucinogenic mushrooms. Cops found the naked, screaming man outside a school after responding to a late-night burglar alarm, the Detroit ... More »

Missing Mushroom Pickers Turn Up

Daniel, Belinda, Michael Conne had been missing in Oregon for 6 days

(Newser) - A family of three that went missing while picking mushrooms on the Oregon coast has been found after an exhaustive six-day search, reports the Oregonian . Daniel and Belinda Conne, both 47, and their 25-year-old son, Michael, were spotted by a helicopter yesterday and airlifted out of a ravine with minor... More »

New Mushroom Species Named After 'SpongeBob'

Gary had no comment

(Newser) - It wasn't discovered living under a pineapple or even under the sea, but a new mushroom species has been named after SpongeBob SquarePants. The species unearthed last year in Malaysia was dubbed Spongiforma squarepantsii because of its spongy similarities to the popular cartoon character, reports National Geographic . (Click the... More »

Study Finds Perfect Dose for Medical 'Shrooms

Participants say their minds were blown, man

(Newser) - Forget medical marijuana—are you ready for medical mushrooms? The popular psychedelic is believed to be a useful tool for treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more, and now a group of researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine say they’ve found the perfect dose to produce long-lasting effects... More »

Why White Truffles Cost $2K a Pound

It's surprising, considering they smell like 'a locker room'

(Newser) - Truffles: They’re a featured ingredient in a $1,000 bagel or the similarly priced “Golden Opulence” ice cream sundae . So what is it about these mushrooms, the white truffle in particular, that make people willing to spend $2,000 a pound on them? They’re rare—only available... More »

In Italy, 18 Die While Mushroom Hunting

People head to the woods unprepared, officials say

(Newser) - There may not be guns involved, but mushroom hunting can be deadly: Eighteen Italians have died while searching for mushrooms in a little more than a week. Eager to cash in on an abundant harvest, a growing number of people have been heading for the hills. Unfortunately, many lack proper... More »

Mushrooms, Green Tea Cut Breast Cancer Risk

Study shows big effect among Chinese women

(Newser) - A mushroom a day could keep breast cancer away, according to a study that looked at the diets of more than 2,000 Chinese women. Their rates of the disease are four to five times lower than the worldwide average, and part of the reason may be the chemicals that... More »

Wild Shrooms Kill Calif. Man

82-year-old had a passion for mushroom foraging

(Newser) - A California man’s passion for collecting and eating wild mushrooms has cost him his life, the LA Times reports. The 82-year-old ate a generous portion of a deadly variety and died of poisoning a week later. His family had long warned him of the risks, but the man had... More »

Pa. Farm Recalls Diseased Enoki Mushrooms

Giant supermarket chain takes fungi with risk of listeriosis off shelves

(Newser) - Pennsylvania’s Phillips Mushroom Farm has issued a recall on contaminated enoki mushrooms it produced in January, the Centre Daily Times reports. Giant Food Stores, a major Phillips buyer, said today that it has removed the tainted products from its shelves. Phillips fears some of the mushrooms have been contaminated... More »

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