Finally, researchers are again exploring the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics to treat the likes of depression, addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. To provide pharmaceutical-quality compounds for clinical trials, scientists are developing new ways to produce the psychedelics. Chemical engineers at Miami University in Ohio have now genetically engineered E. coli to crank put psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms. From Scientific American:
Read the rest
The modified microbes generated up to 1.16 grams of psilocybin per liter of culture medium—the highest yield to date from any engineered organism and a 10-fold increase over the next best attempt. Scaled up, the new method could produce psilocybin for potential therapeutic use.
“The number-one advantage is it's simply cheaper” than—or at least cost-competitive with—other methods, says lead study author Alexandra Adams, an undergraduate student in chemical engineering at Miami University in Ohio...
Adams and her colleagues engineered E. coli that incorporated three genes from the Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, enabling the bacteria to synthesize psilocybin from the cheap and easily obtainable precursor molecule 4-hydroxyindole, and then they optimized the process to produce the drug on a larger scale.
Our friend Attaboy’s got a fun(gi) art happening in the works called “Game of Shrooms.” You can play, no matter where you are, and, no, it’s not a drug-related activity. You can make mushroom art, find mushroom art, or both! Artists from all over the world have already signed up.
Here are the details on how you can plant and play:
“#shroomdrop is June 15th! It is open to ALL artists everywhere...
1. Make painting or sculpture or other art. If you are doing little paintings, I find it is best to add little popsicle sticks to bottom of them in the back so that the art doesn’t get dirty if placed near the ground.
2. Post preview teasers if you like.
3. Put your IG tag on the back and #shroomdrop #gameofshrooms if you can.
4. Plant or place art. Don’t hurt nature or property. If it rains, you Can hide inside friendly Indy stores as well...
5. After you plant, take a few photo clues to post. I suggest a close up, then a wide shot, with a landmark of some kind visible (old church, sign post, etc) location tag helps if you are in a suburban area. Don’t hurt nature or property.
6. Oh and be sure to hide it/them on June 15th!”
View this post on Instagram
Read the rest
Only 13 days until the Game Of Shrooms. There’s still time for you to participate. see @attayumfactory for more info. Game of Shrooms happens June 15th! And the list of locations keeps growing!
Actor Luke Perry, who died last month following a massive stroke, was buried in a mushroom suit. According to his daughter, Perry had requested that upon his death he wear Coeio's "Infinity Burial Suit" that the company describes as "made up of of mushrooms and other microorganisms that together do three things; aid in decomposition, work to neutralize toxins found in the body and transfer nutrients to plant life."
View this post on Instagram Read the rest
💋In December I went to San Francisco with two of my best friends. One of them, had never never been to California, so we went to show him the Redwoods. I took this picture while we were there, because i thought, “damn, those mushrooms are beautiful.” Now, mushrooms hold an entirely new meaning for me. Any explanation i give will not do justice to the genius that is the mushroom burial suit, but it is essentially an eco friendly burial option via mushrooms. All i can say is that you should all look into them at coeio.com or just by googling “mushroom burial suit” . My dad discovered it, and was more excited by this than I have ever seen him. He was buried in this suit, one of his final wishes. They are truly a beautiful thing for this beautiful planet, and I want to share it with all of you.
Frites, truffles and canals are awesome. Also doner kebab. Read the rest
Trees "talk" to each other in forests. They are part of underground networks based on symbiotic relationships, known as mycorrhiza, with fungi. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the mushroom. (National Geographic)
Read the rest
Tim Farmer found a giant puffball mushroom in the woods, a fall delicacy that requires a little good luck and timing to enjoy. They are a lot safer than picking other wild mushrooms because they are pretty easy to identify. Read the rest
The psilocybin in magic mushrooms is a potent psychedelic for animals. But what good is the psilocybin for the shrooms? New genetic research from Ohio State University suggests that the psilocybin might act as an insect repellant, protecting the mushrooms. From New Scientist:
Read the rest
The gene cluster (linked to psilocybin production) is found in several distantly related groups, suggesting that the fungi swapped genes in a process called horizontal gene transfer. This is uncommon in mushrooms: it is the first time genes for a compound that is not necessary for the fungi’s survival – called a secondary metabolite – have been found moving between mushroom lineages.
Since these genes have survived in multiple species, Slot thinks psilocybin must be useful to the fungi. “Strong selection could be the reason this gene cluster was able to overcome the barriers to horizontal gene transfer,” (researcher Jason Slot) says.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms often inhabit areas rich in fungi-eating insects, so Slot suggests psilocybin might protect the fungi, or repel insects from a shared food source, by somehow influencing their behaviour.
For this fellow, finding a six-pound mushroom is equivalent to witnessing a double rainbow. It looks like a king boletus. Read the rest
It's mushrooms to the rescue in a major study to stop bee colony collapse disorder. One culprit, parasitic varroa mites, stood out as a major threat because they were developing tolerance for many pesticides. Read the rest
Once the domain of countercultural psychonauts, LSD and mushrooms in one-tenth doses are becoming more popular among you professionals, especially in the tech industry. Read the rest
This 61-year-old woman, who has never taken psychedelics before, decided to take 1 gram of psilocybe cubensis (a very small dose). In this video, shot by her son, we get to watch her go through the different stages of what seems to be a fairly strong trip, which lasts about four hours. She said she would not do it again with someone filming and interviewing her, but she said the experience helped her "reconnect with her real self" and that she might take it again with friends in the woods. Read the rest
Last year I posted about a Hawaiian mushroom that allegedly induces orgasms in women who sniff it. Christie Wilcox, a writer for Discover, read the post and went on a mission to track down and test the mushroom's effects on herself. It's called "Expedition Ecstasy: Sniffing Out The Truth About Hawai‘i’s Orgasm-Inducing Mushroom" and it's a great read.
View post on imgur.com
Read the rest
As the story goes, one day, [John C.] Holliday [author of the paper, "Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species"]needed an x-ray, and ended up politely chit-chatting with the x-ray technician in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. “She said ‘What do you do?’, and I said ‘I am a mushroom scientist’, and she went, ‘I have to ask you: my mother and I like to go out and sniff mushrooms. Do you think we are crazy?'”
She was reluctant to explain why she and her mother did this, but eventually, she admitted to Holliday that she got a kind of euphoric effect from the smell. “It did not sound real but worth looking into,” Holliday told me. “I talked them into taking me out on their little adventure, and a group of girls on Saturday morning and I went out to Lava Tree State Park and found them. Found one, that is it—they are not common. That one got used up. I took photographs of it, and I posted photographs all around that area, and I put a reward out for this.
The tripping balls coyotes of Marin county are a real thing. As I drive my daughter to school in the early mornings, this year, we have seen some odd, and entertaining coyote behavior!
Theory has been that local coyotes have been eating some mushrooms that make them trip out. Single coyotes have been running into traffic, inspecting cars that stop, and staring down drivers!
I guess there was some confusion, or concern, as to what kind of mushrooms could cause this?
Via the NBC Bay Area:
Read the rest
The Pacific Sun reported that coyotes in West Marin who have recently starred in bizarre confrontations with humans in cars may have eaten fly agaric mushrooms, which contain a psychoactive substance called muscimol.
The story went around the world, fueling tabloid headlines like "Coyotes are allegedly getting high on magic mushrooms" and "Coyotes tripping on magic mushrooms?"
While the fly agaric mushrooms have hallucinogenic properties, they aren't part of the group of fungi that commonly referred to as "magic mushrooms," which is slang for a popular recreational drug for humans. Magic mushrooms typically refer to mushrooms that contain a hallucinogenic substance called psylocybin.
Both can reportedly be found growing wild in the North Bay through the spring.
All of us who've held mushrooms and microphones at the same time have done this. And it's funny every time we do it.
[via] Read the rest
A few readers have expressed doubt about the orgasm-inducing mushroom I mentioned yesterday. It was in reference to an article titled, "Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species," which appeared in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (Vol 3. p. 162, 2001)
Here's a link to the PDF of the article. The article, written by John C. Holliday and Noah Soule of Next Laboratories and Aloha Medicinals in Hawaii says:
...there are significant sexual arousal characteristics present in the fetid odor of this unique mushroom. Indeed, nearly half of the female test subjects experienced spontaneous orgasms while smelling this mushroom.
None of our readers have, as far as I know, sniffed the mushroom, but they do know their way around Snopes, and they have kindly provided a link to the site's page, which says the mushroom's orgasmic power is UNPROVEN:
Read the rest
Our research did not turn up any other scientific studies about this orgasm-inducing and unnamed Dictyophora species, and the one extant study is itself a bit flimsy. Halliday and Soule conducted a “smell test” in 2001 involving 16 women and 20 men. Six women reportedly experienced spontaneous (but not “earth-shattering”) orgasms while smelling the fungus, and the other 10 (who received smaller doses) experienced an increase in heart rate. What caused the spontaneous orgasms? Halliday speculated that the fetid odor of the mushrooms may have had “hormonelike compounds present” that had some “similarity to human neurotransmitters released during sexual encounters.”
While Halliday’s study is certainly intriguing, it’s somewhat short of representing a rigorous scientific standard: it’s a single, decade-old study that was conducted with a very small sample group and published in a minor journal, one which has not since been replicated or vetted by other researchers in the scientific community.
A study from the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reports that Dictyophora, a mushroom that grows on lava flows, induces spontaneous orgasms in about 1/3 of the woman who sniff it.
According to a 2001 publication in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, the smell of the fresh fungus can trigger spontaneous orgasms in human females. In the trial involving 16 women, 6 had orgasms while smelling the fruit body, and the other ten, who received smaller doses, experienced physiological changes such as increased heart rate. All of the 20 men tested considered the smell disgusting. According to the authors, the results suggest that the hormone-like compounds present in the volatile portion of the gleba may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual activity. The study used the species found in Hawaii, not the edible variety cultivated in China.
[via] Read the rest
A classic example of global news lulz from 2012. Read the rest