fungus

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NY Factory Turns Fungus Into Furniture

They're making footstools from toadstools

(Newser) - The sturdy stools and spongy cushions made at an upstate New York factory are formed with fungus. Ecovative Design is a business staking its growth on mycelium, the thread-like "roots" of mushrooms, the AP reports. The mycelium grows around small pieces of stalks and stems to create a material... 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 »

Emerging Drug-Resistant Yeast Infection Can Be Deadly

So far there appears to have been 1 infection in US, but CDC warns hospitals to be on lookout

(Newser) - There's a new drug-resistant infection on the rise, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting hospitals nationwide to be on the lookout for Candida auris, a difficult-to-identify yeast infection that can prove fatal to those it infects. Though only one case has been spotted in the... More »

One of Our Favorite Fruits Looks Doomed

A lethal fungus jumped continents in 2013 and is on a global rampage

(Newser) - If you like bananas, it's time to start savoring them while you still can. A deadly fungus that's been killing the plant since the 1960s has jumped continents, moving from where it ravaged crops for decades in Southeast Asia to parts of South Asia, Australia, the Middle East,... More »

How a 'Brainless' Organism Makes Your Wine Distinct

Different yeast strains from different soils change a wine's chemical profile

(Newser) - Winemakers have long understood that things like the soil in which grapes are grown can affect the flavor of the grapes and, ultimately the wine. Now scientists have proof that a microbial component of "terroir"—wine lingo for the individual regional conditions—has an impact, too. Reporting in... 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 »

What the Dust in Your House Says About You

Our dust contains, on average, 9K unique species of microbes

(Newser) - Last year, volunteers mailed in dust samples taken from above interior and exterior door frames in 1,200 homes across the US as part of a citizen science project called Wild Life of Our Homes . Now, scientists are reporting in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that our... More »

Worried Scientists: Stop Salamander Imports Now

Fast-spreading fungus could be devastating

(Newser) - US scientists have been keeping a worried eye on a fast-spreading fungus overseas that proves devastating to salamanders, and yesterday in Science they issued a plea to the federal government: Stop the imports of salamanders immediately. The stakes are about much more than pet store sales, explains LiveScience : North America... More »

Did Dinosaurs Hallucinate After Chewing Grass?

Oldest grass specimen ever found was topped with fungus linked to LSD

(Newser) - If you're glad you weren't on the planet in the days when Stegosaurus was whipping its spiked tail around in agitation, imagine the dino stumbling around with its eyes ablaze on the prehistoric equivalent of an acid trip, courtesy of newly discovered fungus-tipped grass. A perfectly preserved, 100-million-year-old... More »

Our Salamanders May Be in Trouble

Scientists cite Asian fungus, lack of biosecurity

(Newser) - When a fungus that has coexisted with amphibians in Asia for 30 million years recently found its way to the Netherlands, only 10 fire salamanders managed to escape death there. The fungus eats the skin, and that tends to prove fatal because amphibians perform much of their respiration through their... More »

Thousands on Risky Hunt for Nepal's 'Viagra'

Harvesting of Yarsagumba could also damage ecosystem

(Newser) - It's June in Nepal, so tens of thousands of people are scouring the nation's remote highlands for so-called "Himalayan Viagra"—a fungus said to boost libidos and ease health woes. But harvesting is a risky job that doesn't pay much compared to the fungus' value... More »

Here's How Earth Could Really End: Scientists

Global warming, pandemic, fungus ... a not-fun time for everyone

(Newser) - From Planet of the Apes to After Earth, Hollywood has depicted Earth's demise many a time—but scientists' fears of planetary catastrophe are just as scary, LiveScience reports. Here are a few Doomsday scenarios as imagined by scientific minds:
  • Global warming: Scientists call this the biggest threat of all.
... More »

Fungus Threatens Most Common Banana

If it spreads to Latin America, the Cavendish might be doomed

(Newser) - Banana fans, meet your enemy: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense, but you can call it Foc for short. It's a banana-killing fungus present in Asia and Australia and more recently in Mozambique and Jordan. If it spreads to Latin America—which accounts for about 80% of banana exports—supermarket... More »

Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Kill 23K a Year—at Least

CDC report sets baseline for first time

(Newser) - With antibiotic resistance building, experts fear a day when everyday bacterial infections could once again be life-threatening—and a new federal study shows "we're getting closer and closer to the cliff," says a CDC rep. Already, two million people each year suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections, and 23,... More »

Your Feet: Home to Lots of Fungus

New study finds nearly 200 different types of fungi on feet

(Newser) - If you always thought feet were kind of gross, you were right: There are almost 200 different types of fungi living on them, a new study finds. In fact, though fungi live all over your skin, they most like to congregate on the heel (home to 80 different types), between... More »

'Pregnancy Test' Frogs: Bearers of Killer Fungus

African clawed frogs wreak havoc on ecosystems

(Newser) - A species of frog that was once spread around the world as an early pregnancy test turns out to carry a horrifically deadly pathogen that can decimate local ecosystems. Mid-20th-century doctors used African clawed frogs as a weird-but-reliable pregnancy test—the frogs tend to ovulate when injected with a pregnant... More »

Bat-Killing Fungus Hits Famed US Park

Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park latest white-nose syndrome victim

(Newser) - The fungus that has already killed 6 million bats in the eastern US and Canada has been found in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park for the first time, reports the Los Angeles Times . A bat with white-nose syndrome was discovered in Long Cave, a 1.3-mile-long cave not linked... More »

Afghanistan Vets' Silent Killer: Fungus in Soil

It gets into their bodies in IED blasts

(Newser) - Doctors are struggling to deal with a fungal infection that's complicating the recovery of some of the most severely wounded US veterans. The fungus is thought to exist in the Afghan soil and to infect troops when they're wounded by IEDs, USA Today explains. Often, such explosions result... More »

Distillery Neighbors Sue Over 'Black Gunk'

Whiskey distilleries lead to gross-sounding fungus

(Newser) - The good news when you live next door to a whiskey distillery is that … you live next door to a whiskey distillery. The bad news? Apparently those distilleries cause a fungus—or, as the New York Times calls it, a "sooty-looking black gunk"—to spread over houses,... More »

US Bat Disease May Be From European Tourists

Cave explorers could have tracked it on their shoes: Scientists

(Newser) - A disease that has decimated North American bat populations probably made its way here from Europe, researchers say. European bats haven't suffered the disease's disastrous effects, but some appear to be infected; they've probably developed resistance to the germs, scientists tell AFP . Experts exposed unaffected Canadian bats... More »

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