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Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2
Deinonychus
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05 Apr 2013, 2:47 am

and I live near the oil pipeline that just burst in Arkansas.

I was just blathering about my special interest to a friend on facebook - about how fungus can break down petroleum-based chemicals (and petroleum itself) because it evolved to break down the dead plant matter from which petrochemicals ultimately derive. this stuff literally eats diesel, industrial pesticide, fertilizers, and nerve gas. furthermore, because it is ultimately to the benefit of the fungus if it has a healthy forest ecosystem, not only does it intersect with plant root networks, but it can tell which plants are undernourished and will channel nutrients to young and weak plants to help them grow and survive. the other side of this adaptation is that it also will grow through soil contaminated with toxic heavy metals and even radioactive waste and draw all of these toxins into its fruiting bodies (the mushrooms we see above ground) where it can be easily removed from the environment. it effectively filters the soil (or water, if put in straw-bales submerged in streams) and promotes insect and plant activity.

so my facebook friend turns out to be visiting the oil spill site next week, and he is going to pitch the information I gave him about my special interest to the contractors in charge of cleaning it up! there's a chance they will chose to use mycoremediation to help clean up the spill! I'm fangirling over fungus right now, haha, this is really cool! :lol:


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drh1138
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05 Apr 2013, 3:08 am

That's really neat; I didn't know fungus could absorb environmental toxins like that, or symbiotically aid plants in that way.

It's really cool to know that for all of our "advanced", modern technology and supposed knowledge, nature has its own way of getting along without, and sometimes in spite of us.



Sharkgirl
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05 Apr 2013, 3:13 am

That's awesome and I like the fact that its totally natural.


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LongWaysAway
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05 Apr 2013, 4:28 am

You should meet my wife's cousin. He's a fungus scientist! They once sent him to Antarctica to study the fungus that grows in penguin crap. Not even joking.



naturalplastic
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05 Apr 2013, 5:39 am

LongWaysAway wrote:
You should meet my wife's cousin. He's a fungus scientist! They once sent him to Antarctica to study the fungus that grows in penguin crap. Not even joking.


Sounds like a fun guy!



abyssquick
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05 Apr 2013, 8:04 am

Yes, this type of bioremediation is outlined in Paul Stamets' book "Mycelium Running" and it's oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus species) that can break the bonds of hydrocarbons rather easily. (I've got some oyster mushrooms growing on coffee grounds / newspaper shreddings in the basement right now.) They're vigorous digesters of cellulose and lignin carbohydrates mainly. So, to clean up an oil spill you'd have to mix a substrate like wood chip mulch into the oil spill area, to a level that doesn't suffocate the fungus with too much oil, and allows enough airflow to allow the fungi to breathe. You'd have to keep it all sufficiently moist. Stamets does very interesting work.

http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/the-pet ... oblem.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BelfLIJErek

Myco-Booming (for oil spills on water) http://www.crazyaboutmushrooms.com/



Last edited by abyssquick on 05 Apr 2013, 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

Chloe33
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05 Apr 2013, 8:11 am

Thats really cool that Mycelium can grow in salt water soaked straw to soak up oil pollution. It is bad enough the spills happen and we dig for oil, yet a natural remedy to help control and suck up oil is good



abyssquick
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05 Apr 2013, 8:12 am

I'm an avid wild mushroom collector myself -- edible species. I've also seeded about 6 species into parts of my yard, just to have them nearby for culinary purposes:

Blewit (clitocybe nuda) -- in a deep bed of leaf mulch beneath maple trees
Shaggy mane (coprinus comatus) -- in the lawn by the compost bin
Winecap (strophoria russula-angulata) -- in the mulch around the yard everywhere,
Chicken of the woods (laetiporus sulpherus) -- in maple logs I inoculated last year
Oyster -- a local brown ecotype, on a stump
+ a few large puffballs (calvatia gigantea, calavtia cyathiformis) -- in various parts of the lawn.

I've got spores / mycelium of a few more species in refrigeration, which I'll be inoculating this year. Each season I collect over 100 pounds of Maitake (hen-of-the-woods) from the wild to dry and use in cooking.

Mushrooms are just half the interest -- the other half is wild edible plants. Maple syrup season just ended and I'm already digging wild scallions (allium sp.) sunchokes (helianthus tuberosus) and groundnuts (apios americana)... very labor intensive hobbies, but quite rewarding.



Last edited by abyssquick on 05 Apr 2013, 10:58 am, edited 4 times in total.

daydreamer84
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05 Apr 2013, 8:14 am

naturalplastic wrote:
LongWaysAway wrote:
You should meet my wife's cousin. He's a fungus scientist! They once sent him to Antarctica to study the fungus that grows in penguin crap. Not even joking.


Sounds like a fun guy!


:lol:



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05 Apr 2013, 8:18 am

Yeah, Paul Stamets does very interesting work. Check out the TED talk he gave:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY

I totally love listening to TED talks.'
While you are there, you should check out Eric Whiteacres virtual choirs. AMAZING!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NENlXsW4pM



Sickleg
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05 Apr 2013, 8:23 am

Hey! I had to make an account just to reply. I too am obsessed with my mycoremediation and fungi in general. Such fascinating organisms that are under researched. I am writing a college research paper on it now. Psilocybin mushrooms are particularly interesting.

One thing I found particularly fascinating is in 2007 scientists sent a robot into the Chernobyl reactor, a place they believed life COULD NOT exist. Turns out the discovered Blake melanin-rich fungi growing on the walls! This species uses melanin(the same in our skin) to absorb radiation as usable energy analogous to how plant use sunlight.



Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2
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05 Apr 2013, 9:36 am

BlackSabre7 wrote:
Yeah, Paul Stamets does very interesting work. Check out the TED talk he gave:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY

I totally love listening to TED talks.'
While you are there, you should check out Eric Whiteacres virtual choirs. AMAZING!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NENlXsW4pM
my friend showed me his TED talk a few years ago and that's what got me interested! Stamets is so cool. (and watching him speak I wouldn't be surprised if he's an aspie himself, come to think of it...he's certainly awkward, gifted, and monomaniacal)

I would really love to do something like plant physiology or organic chemistry + ecology or biogeochemistry once I live somewhere with a university that actually has programs like that. we don't even have a botany degree where I live =/ I plan to put money back into more college instead of a mortgage when I have an "adult" job, and mycology (mycochemistry?) would be an ideal field of study.

and oh my god, cordyceps! haha fungus isn't my only special interest but it's like "the one that got away" because I never got to get as in-depth with it as I wanted to. (history you can pretty much just pick up a post-graduate level book and follow what they're saying, molecular biology not so much)


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Ca2MgFe5Si8O22OH2
Deinonychus
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05 Apr 2013, 9:39 am

Sickleg wrote:
Hey! I had to make an account just to reply. I too am obsessed with my mycoremediation and fungi in general. Such fascinating organisms that are under researched. I am writing a college research paper on it now. Psilocybin mushrooms are particularly interesting.

One thing I found particularly fascinating is in 2007 scientists sent a robot into the Chernobyl reactor, a place they believed life COULD NOT exist. Turns out the discovered Blake melanin-rich fungi growing on the walls! This species uses melanin(the same in our skin) to absorb radiation as usable energy analogous to how plant use sunlight.
I'm envious! I've not yet gotten to a decent college program that would let me work on stuff like that. sooo very cool!


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Cornflake
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05 Apr 2013, 10:36 am

[Moved from General Autism Discussion to Computers, Math, Science, and Technology]


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05 Apr 2013, 11:04 am

naturalplastic wrote:
LongWaysAway wrote:
You should meet my wife's cousin. He's a fungus scientist! They once sent him to Antarctica to study the fungus that grows in penguin crap. Not even joking.


Sounds like a fun guy!

I'm sure he's well lichen.







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