Company that makes dog food from fungi gets $11 million in venture capital funding

Wild Earth is a dog food start-up in Berkeley, California. It specializes in dog food made from the Aspergillus oryzae fungus, known as koji in Japan. Koji is used to make "soy sauce and fermented bean paste (including miso), and also to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as sake and shōchū." [Wikipedia]. Chemical & Engineering News reports that Wild Earth recently secured $11 million in VC funding from "VegInvest, Mars Petcare, and other backers." This looks like a great snack for people, too.

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The weird beauty of fungi: time-lapse videos

National Geographic's Hostile Planet series focuses on the "world’s most extreme environments to reveal the animal kingdom’s most glorious stories of survival on this fast and continuously shifting planet." This Boing Boing exclusive excerpts beautiful and creepy time-lapse videos of day-glo colored slimes and glistening tentacled mushrooms as they erupt, spread, and decay. The highlight of the video is the tragic fate of an ant that gets infected by a cordyceps fungus spore, which highjacks the ant's nervous system, causing it to climb to the top of a stem, where it freezes in place. In a few days, a cordyceps mushroom bursts out of the ant's head, and begins to produce spores that will eventually infect other ants.

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