Carpenter ants of the Brazilian rain forest have it rough. When one of these insects gets infected by a certain fungus, it turns into a so-called “zombie ant” and is no longer in control of its actions. Manipulated by the parasite, an infected ant will leave the cozy confines of its arboreal home and head to the…
An extremely expensive truffle has been grown farther north than ever before, a phenomenon researchers attribute to altered growing conditions created by climate change. For the first time, a Mediterranean black truffle, also known as a Périgord truffle, has been grown in the United Kingdom—and not a moment too soon…
The US Centers for Disease Control has released a report in which it identifies over a dozen cases of a deadly, antibiotic-resistant fungus called Candida auris. It’s the first time this super-strain has been found in the US, and disturbingly, four of the first seven patients infected with it have died.
Slime molds and fungi might not rank high on anyone’s list of favorite organisms, but there is a compelling beauty in their growth patterns. And now Transcend Rules has taken “slimeography” to a whole new level, setting those patterns to the Game of Thrones theme music. It might just be the solace fans crave after…
You need bacteria to help you digest your food and go about your day. It turns out that plants have their own version of this. And one weed is driving out the competition by attacking the gut bacteria of other species.
Fungi are some of the weirdest and most fascinating creatures on Earth, but they’ve really outdone themselves with this one: Hair ice. According to new research, the icy hair-sculptures that crop up overnight in forests before melting away in the sun have fungal fingerprints all over them.
Here’s a good reason not to get out of bed. A common fungus can sometimes get snorted up into your nose, contaminate your blood vessels, and grow in your eyes and your brain. Feel like going outside? I didn’t think so.
We don’t usually get to witness the movements of plants and fungi, which happen so slowly that we don’t notice it with our naked eyes. But these timelapse videos speed up the process, letting us appreciate the sometimes graceful growing and dying of these organisms.
It's generally agreed that life on this planet would not be possible if it weren't for microbes. In a fascinating thought experiment, a pair of biologists scrutinized this assumption to find out. As their paper makes clear, a microbe-free world would be a strange place, indeed.
Disposable diapers are made to be super-absorbend and super-durable — all the better for handling the all the waste produced by a human baby. All the worse for the environment because the diapers last hundreds of years in landfills. But a new project cut waste by using the diapers to grow mushrooms.
Groot's response to the question would probably be a simple "I am Groot!", but does the evidence suggest that Groot is a plant, an animal, or perhaps a fungus?
Crack open your dumb old phone, and you'll find lots of circuits and no lack of precious metals. "In 100,000 cell phones, it's estimated that there is 2.4 kilograms of gold, more than 900 kilograms of copper, 25 kilograms of silver, and more," according to Motherboard. Could a safer and and cheaper method of…
Researchers at Scotland's Abertay University are getting a brand new look at the seemingly nondescript world hidden in plain sight—the soil beneath our feet.
To grow mushrooms is to let things rot, so
something's a lot of things are rotten in the state of Pennsylvania.
Throughout the tropical forests of the world, there's a parasitic fungus that turns unwitting ants into "zombies." Just how the fungus is able to control the brains of its insect slaves is unknown, but Charissa de Bekker, a post-doctoral researcher at Penn State University, is determined to find out. We caught up with…
Differences in wine quality between vineyards have long been attributed to processing techniques and seasonal variation. But research now suggests that regional differences between wines are shaped by microbes — specifically, fungi and bacteria. Cultivating certain grape microbes may actually improve wine flavor.
There are certain times when the woods begin to glow. Sometimes they glow so much that people call the Park Service and ask them to send a hazmat team. What they're actually seeing is foxfire. And although we know how it happens, we don't know exactly why.
For the first time, scientists have found lifeforms where nobody thought it was possible: floating in the troposphere, the slice of the atmosphere approximately four to six miles (eight to 15 kilometers) above Earth's surface. And not just a tiny few, but lot: 20% of every particle in that atmospheric layer are living…
Mushrooms may be most famous for their pizza prowess and psychedelic strains, but Paul Stamets, renowned mycologist and mushroom enthusiast, has much loftier visions for everyone's favorite fungi. He believes that the solution to some of the world's biggest problems lies in mushroom farming.
Unfortunately, those properties are deadly. These are the jack-o-lantern mushrooms, and their gills have a faint, but beautiful, bioluminescence. The mushrooms are intriguing in theory, but they're lethal when it comes to actual practice.