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Posts Tagged "mycology"

The Artful Amoeba

Fungi Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

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When I took Mycology 101 in grad school, the textbook situation was so bad that the one we used came on a CD-ROM. Not came with a CD-ROM. It was one. My professor grumbled that printed mycology texts all had their flaws and none was great. The illustrations were usually fair to poor. The drawings [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

American Pecan Truffle May Be Coming to a Plate Near You, By Way of Extremely Cute Courier

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With a winning combination of cuteness, digging-osity, and the precision focus of a heat-seaking missile, Este the truffle dog has helped blaze a trail together with scientists that could both enliven American diets and help support American pecan growers. Have a look: Este appears to be a Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian hunting dog originally bred [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Darwin’s Neon Golf Balls

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The Southern Hemisphere’s collection of alternate-universe creatures is not limited to emus, echidnas, and monkey-puzzle trees. There are also crazy down-under fungi. And one of them was first encountered and collected for science by none other than the Big Man himself: Charles Darwin. Darwin was on his course-of-western-history-altering Beagle cruise when he was probably captivated [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Just What is Exserohilum rostratum?

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Perhaps like Moselio Schaechter and me, you were surprised to hear the identity of the fungal pathogen in the New England Compounding Pharmacy fungal meningitis outbreak: Exserohilum rostratum. Unlike outbreaks caused by names we see regularly — influenza, norovirus, E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, etc. — Exserohilum is not a name that is likely to have [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Deadly and Delicious Amanitas Can No Longer Decompose

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Amanita mushrooms — like all creatures — rot, but most of them can’t rot other things. The fact that they don’t rot other things is not news to biologists, who have long known that many, if not most, fungi have become professional partners with trees, plants, or algae. The fact that they can’t rot other [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

How Ballistic Cup Fungi Fire Their Spores (and Look Cool Doing It)

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It’s a bit embarrassing to admit you were recently on your hands and knees excitedly filming a cow pie. But I was. And the reason was this: Here’s another one found nearby: There were five or six of these polka-dotted mounds in close proximity. Gorgeous orange cup fungi on a cow pie! I’d never heard [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

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When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to  accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this [...]

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