All posts by chris ellison

“Week of the Fungi” on Small Things Considered

The excellent microbiology blog Small Things Considered is celebrating the beginning of mushroom collecting season with a weeks worth of fungal posts. So far, they have discussed identifying poisonous mushrooms AFTER cooking them using real-time PCR, how wood-rotting fungi might actually improve the sound of your favorite stringed instrument, and the toxins found in the some of the deadly species of Amanita. Tune in later this week for the last two installments.

Fungal remediation of contaminated war zones

Depleted uranium (DU) from spent ammunition used in the conflicts in Iraq and the Balkans poses a health risk to the inhabitants of those regions. This paper in Current Biology from Marina Fomina et al shows that several species of fungi including one from the mycorrhizal genus Rhizopogon (a favorite subject of study for our neighbors in the Bruns lab) are capable of sequestering DU into a less mobile mineral form.

doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.03.011

Also picked up by the BBC.