Citizen Science, Mushroom Edition


Photo: Johan Hansson/Creative Commons Attribution

We have a mycological leaning on this platform, which started due to Milo’s interest, which was infectious.  So, our news filters pick up stories like this; normally I avoid sharing the stories involving hallucinogens, though I read the serious ones myself. I do not expect stories like this one below from New York Magazine, so this was a pleasant surprise:

Meet the Citizen Scientists Who Think Mushrooms Have Superpowers


Last month, around 2,500 people with some connection to hallucinogenic drugs gathered at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, California for what might best be described as the psychedelics state of the union. Psychedelic Science 2017, as it was more formally known, drew professionals of all stripes: chemists who make the hallucinogens, neuroscientists who study their effects on the brain, therapists who discuss their after-effects on patients, shamans and healers who administer the drugs, and anthropologists like Joanna Steinhardt, who are trying to make sense of the meaning of psychedelic culture. Continue reading

Challenge: Nappie-free Landfills

Even if the jury is still out comparing the environmental impacts and carbon footprints of cloth vs. disposable nappies, it’s clear that standard disposables are a landfill problem.  As in, a space problem if nothing else.  Being a petroleum-based product, they pose other problems as well.

But since the main component of these stubbornly indispensable items is cellulose,  and mushrooms are nature’s cellulose-eating machines, Mexican scientist Alethia Vázquez-Morillas of The Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City has found a solution.   Continue reading