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Thread: From the World of Fungi, a New Disease-Fighter?

  1. #1
    Another Belizean Guest

    From the World of Fungi, a New Disease-Fighter?

    October 31, 2008—Situated more than 3,500 feet up in Belize's highest cloud forest, there's a ridge known as Doyle's Delight, and it's mushroom heaven. Last year, Timothy J. Baroni, a fungus scientist at the State University of New York at Cortland, and some colleagues found more than 40 new species there in less than two weeks.

    Among his most recent finds: a new species of salmon-colored fungus that also represents a new genus of polypore, a well-studied group long used in Asian herbal medicines. Certain polypores may be useful in treating immune diseases or in helping cancer patients recover.

    More than a quarter of all modern medicines come from molds, mushrooms, and other fungi. The drugs include penicillin and cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant that reduces the chances a person will reject an organ transplant.

    But scientists believe we've discovered only 5 to 10 percent of Earth's estimated 1.5 million fungus species, so a wealth of molds and mushrooms remains to be explored.

    "We have a medicine cabinet at our disposal, and the medicines don't have labels yet," says Baroni, who has received funding from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration.

    Baroni focuses on finding and naming new mushrooms; other scientists will identify their food and medicinal uses. But Baroni says mushrooms have another vital property—they might help save the natural world.

    Wild fungi can be crucial indicators of their environments health. Scientists believe air pollution killed edible mushrooms in Germany's Black Forest in the 1980s, long before it harmed plants and trees. So far no one is using fungi systematically to monitor ecosystems. But, says Baroni, "If you knew what [fungi] to monitor for, you could see if we are polluting supposedly untouched parts of our planet."
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Nice to know AB!! Thanks!!

    Ahem....Does this mean you are BORED agen?
    The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT you...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    San Ignacio, Belize, Belize
    No pay she no mind AB, i think it is very informative, and a nice break from Obama this and Palin that. Keeo them coming.....DB, one a dem fungus wah someday save yu life.....
    Maybe there on the edge is your hope
    But you don't look down,
    Burning eyes can't forgive you
    Howling moon drives on
    And deep in me, Your illusion
    What you see in me.....

  4. #4
    Another Belizean Guest
    Yes DB, but not as BORED as.................

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