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TED Talks – Paul Stammets – 6 Ways that Mushrooms can Save the World

May 11, 2012

Here’s a very interesting talk by mycologist Paul Stammets, which came to me via my mushroom hunting father (Steve) and his colleague Alex.  Now that mushrooms have begun popping up, it seems timely to look at some of the farther reaching applications for mushrooms in bio-technology – inlcuding a possible solution for cleaning up oil spills.  It’s a fascinating chat.

Here’s the author’s bio from the TED talks site.

Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets’ research is the Northwest’s native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas.

There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet.