Where Mycologists Go To Church On Sundays

When it comes to academic triumphs and laudatory honors it can be said that mycologist Paul Stamets has his fair share. Stamets has authored six books on mushrooms, holds over twenty patents, is a winner of the Collective Heritage Institute’s Bioneers Award. Today he also runs a facility that boasts twenty four laminar flow benches across four laboratories processing between 10-20 thousand kilos of mycelia each week. He has close to a thousand mycelium cultures growing at any given time and is renowned across the world for his view of fungi as the ‘grand molecular dissemblers of nature’. And so it was that the Biopharmaceutical Technology Center was pleased to host a lecture by Stamets almost two years ago with the promissory title: How Mushrooms Can Save the World. Continue reading

Would You Like Mushrooms With That Violin?

It would seem that most of us can recall at least one instance when we stumbled over a long-lost treasure.  The occasional trip to the attic or a weekend search through our own backyards bring back bountiful memories as we sift through great grandma’s keepsake or a secret heir-loom that we had long given up for lost. Often times we are painfully unaware of the value of the memento we hold in our hands. 

Years ago I remember reading how one lady picked up a discarded cello that was destined for the trash heap.  Not knowing that this particular instrument was one of only sixty that had been hand-crafted by the great instrument maker Antonio Stradivari in 1684, plans were made to carve it into a hinge-bearing CD holder (1).  Fortunately for all concerned this story had a happy ending.  In fact, the lady’s plans were narrowly averted as she read about the disappearance of the 3.5 million dollar masterpiece (2). Continue reading