Monday, April 14, 2008

I borrowed this image from the internet. Looks like some kid drew the Mario Brother's Super Mushroom guys. Image found:

What old-growth forest mushrooms can to do to help national security

Speaking of mushrooms... a new friend of mine recommended Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets. Today I've been reading more about cloning mushrooms starting with a petri dish (like Bob Rudel does- read two posts ago) and found myself absorbed in the chapter that talks about mycoremediation- a cool method that uses mushrooms to clean up toxic sites. Mixing mushrooms into contaminated soil and covering it up while it does it's magic. Some logging operations have even used chainsaws that are powered with oil that's infused with fungi (spored oil), so that a mushroom grows over the cut trunk and cleans off the oil residue. Diesel contaminated soil is treated with oyster mushrooms and as a result changes from a dead pile of dirt to a dynamic place where plants can grow. I'm OVERSIMPLIFYING this, so read the book! Or check out this Website Fungi Perfecti.

Stamets even researched the use of fungi to remediate after chemical warfare. it costs much less and in some cases has proven to be more effective than the conventional method. Stamets has a patent for a fungal strain from an Northwestern old growth forest that was effective in nuetralizing "very close surrogates of chemical weapons such as sarin, soman and the VX fammily of compounds"

"Saving our old growth forests could help national defense," writes Stamets. Could someone please explain this to George W. Bush?

"The microremediation method is elegantly simple: overlay straw or wood chips infused with the right mycelium to create a living membrane of enzymes that rain down on the toxins in the topsoil."

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