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Thread: Cordyceps...Medicinal Shrooms...

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Tampa, FL
    I worked for a few clubs and people would be doing it all over the place.

    The restroom, under the stairs, in the coat room.....

    Have seen all manner of whacked out public sex.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    So given this extensive list...

    ...what do you got against yaks? I mean really. If you're going to watch spiders bang, why not yaks? Where's the yak love?
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    well alright, back on topic

    Okay, so maybe not exactly back on topic. Slightly off topic actually. But more on topic then yak sex.

    Kunming woman consumes toxic mushrooms for 8 years hoping to see visions of dead daughter

    A 64-year-old woman in Kunming has consumed toxic mushroom for the past eight years in an attempt to see visions of her daughter, who passed away 15 years ago.

    The woman, surnamed Wang, was sent to the hospital on Tuesday morning after getting mushroom poisoning from a toxic fungi she ingested called Boletus luridus. The doctor in the accident and emergency unit said that he had been treating Wang for a number of years for the same cause. "Wang’s daughter died 15 years ago in a car accident. She would go to the market to buy the toxic mushroom in June every year in an attempt to get mushroom poisoning and see her daughter in an illusion," he said.

    While reporters were in the room, Wang cried on the bed and said: “Why couldn't I see my daughter again? This year, I could see different things [after getting mushroom poisoning] but I couldn’t see my daughter.”

    She said she first hallucinated seeing her daughter after consuming toxic mushrooms eight years ago at her friend’s place. Although she came down with diarrhea and some other unpleasant syndromes, she felt blissful. She said that she could see a drawing made by her daughter when she was only 10 in her illusion.

    “She said that her birthday was my suffering day. I lost the drawing when I moved from the house. Yet, I could see every part of of it clearly,” Wang said.

    Wang believes that she couldn't see her daughter this year because of an inadequate amount of toxic mushrooms or because of a bad cooking method. Every year, she would reportedly ingest the 'shrooms and "see" many strange things, yet, she she never saw her daughter after the first time.

    Wang Jin, a doctor at Yunnan University Hospital, said that the hallucinatory side effects from consuming toxic Boletus luridus are caused by alkaloids found in some mushrooms. He added that the probability of having the same "illusion" by eating the same amount of toxic mushrooms is nearly zero. As everyone has a different response towards such effects, he advised Wang not to risk her life again.

    [Image Via Apple Daily]

    By Jennifer Hui
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Cordyceps hunt

    JUNE 28, 2019 / 5:00 AM / UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
    WIDER IMAGE-As Chinese mountains get hotter, hunt for 'cure-all' fungus gets harder
    6 MIN READ
    (Repeats story from June 28; no changes to text)
    By Ryan Woo

    AMNE MACHIN RANGE, China, June 28 (Reuters) - For Ma Junxiao, an ethnic Hui Muslim farmer from remote western China, the daily climb up sheer mountain slopes to look for a tiny fungus is vital to his family’s subsistence.

    Each spring, Ma travels more than 600 kilometres (370 miles) by road from his impoverished village in Gansu to a jumbled knot of nameless peaks in neighbouring Qinghai province.

    There, he joins an army of about 80 people hired by a local company to find and pick Ophiocordyceps sinensis, a fungus believed to possess aphrodisiac and medicinal powers.

    In recent years, cordyceps companies in Qinghai have been paying locals millions of yuan for the right to cordon off an entire mountain each season. (Click to see a picture package about harvesting cordyceps.)

    But the cordyceps harvest has waned in Qinghai, the biggest producing region in China. In the last two years, Ma’s cordyceps income has more than halved to 7,000-8,000 yuan ($1,018-$1,164) per season as the fungus grew more scarce.

    One reason: higher temperatures, less seasonal snow, and receding glaciers have led to warmer mountains, making it less hospitable for the fungus, which thrives in soils that are cold but not frozen, about 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).

    “The glaciers are gone, and so are the cordyceps,” said Ma, 49, who has been picking cordyceps in Qinghai for the past 14 years.

    Glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau have shrunk 15% in the past half a century as gains in local temperatures outstripped the global average by three-fold, Chinese state media reported last year.

    Some climate researchers attribute that to the loss of high-elevation snow needed to deflect the sun’s heat back into space. The dark rock beneath the snow, now exposed, absorbs the heat.

    At the same time, demand for the highly prized cordyceps has increased sharply in the last decade as an emerging Chinese middle class seeks it to cure everything from kidney disorders to impotence, despite a lack of scientific evidence. A global fad for plant-based superfoods has also stoked interest.

    Found in the Himalayas, Tibet and Qinghai’s high-altitude grasslands, the caterpillar fungus, as cordyceps is also known, has become the most important source of income for local communities, offering hundreds of seasonal jobs for the poor and a path to riches for commercial harvesters.

    At the market peak in 2010, the street price of cordyceps was more than $100,000 per kilogramme, launching a craze and enticing herders and farmers like Ma to flock to the mountains.

    Some experts say the enthusiasm has led to overharvesting on top of a less-hospitable climate, despite official insistence on sustainable production.

    This year, with cordyceps harder to find, Ma has had to climb as high as 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) to find fungus for which he is paid 6 yuan per piece.

    “I have two sons, and they run a noodle shop in Jiangsu province on the coast. Almost all of my cordyceps income goes towards sustaining that shop,” Ma told Reuters.


    Grass-dwelling caterpillars deliver the fungus when they migrate, arriving as early as summer, after which the fungus lays dormant in its host through the frigid winter months.

    When spring arrives, the warmer weather awakens the fungus, which kills the caterpillar. It then develops a small brown stem from the desiccated body, poking out of the ground and eventually releasing spores that caterpillars eat, restarting the parasitic process.

    Global warming has led to a higher rate of evaporation, resulting in less soil moisture and poorer grass cover, said Shen Yongping, a Chinese scientist who has observed the weather patterns on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau since the 1980s.

    A shrinking permafrost layer will also lower the water table, further challenging the environment, Shen said. And more frequent extreme weather can cause cold snaps, hurting cordyceps, he added.

    An official tally of Qinghai’s cordyceps production is not available every year.

    At the provincial government’s bureau of agriculture and rural affairs, an official declined to give any output data for 2010-2013 and 2015, saying such statistics were “sensitive.”

    Output fell to 41,200 kg in 2018 from 43,500 kg a year earlier, a 5.2% slump, data from the bureau showed.

    That’s a fraction of the 150,000 kg reported by provincial media for 2010 and 2011.


    “Some years, production was good and some years it was poor. The demand this year is not too good,” said Ma Jingguang, a Guangdong-based merchant on a cordyceps inspection tour in Xinghai county.

    Like the big market-towns of Yushu and Golog in southern Qinghai, Xinghai has built its economy on the cordyceps trade.

    Each piece of the fungus is sold for at least 20 yuan to visiting buyers from Xining, Qinghai’s capital. When the commodity finally reaches a store in Guangdong, the price of the fungus will have multiplied many times.

    Despite the slower economy and softer prices, some high-quality cordyceps in Shenzhen still retails for around $72 per gram, or $2,016 per ounce, surpassing the price of gold, which is around $1,340 per ounce.

    Much is at stake for cordyceps barons like Ma Jingguang, who posted photos of himself on social media as he departed Qinghai on a private jet, enjoying a cigar after filming an ad for his company.

    Even a local driver in Ma’s entourage in Qinghai owns an Audi convertible.

    For those who actually gather the fungus, like 51-year-old cordyceps picker Zhi Bula, every piece he finds is crucial to getting by.

    Zhi can earn up to 20,000 yuan ($2,888) each season, easily eclipsing his family’s annual farm income of 10,000 yuan.

    “I’ve a son who is a second-year student at Nanjing University,” he said. “The cordyceps earnings help.”

    ($1 = 6.8744 Chinese yuan renminbi)
    This newspiece lacked a pic so I'm grabbing one off the web:
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    The Last of Us

    ‘The Last of Us’ Showrunner Explains Just How Real the Cordyceps Fungus Threat Is to Humans
    Writer-producer Craig Mazin fact-checks the HBO premiere's eerie prologue ("It's real…"), plus discusses that perfect song choice at the episode's end.

    JANUARY 15, 2023 7:30PM

    Note: This contains mild spoilers from The Last of Us season premiere on HBO.

    So, great, do we really need to start worrying about our portobellos and shiitakes now, too?

    The Last of Us got underway Sunday night with an eerie cold open prologue that’s set on a talk show in 1963. An epidemiologist (played by the wonderful John Hannah, of The Mummy and Spartacus fame) gives a dire warning to an incredulous host (Silicon Valley’s Joshua Max Brener) about the looming fungal threat. Hannah explains that certain fungi can infect and control its animal hosts and that humans could be next if such deadly spores were to evolve — say, due to climate change — to survive in a just slightly warmer climate.

    “If the world were to get slightly warmer, then there is reason to evolve,” he said. “Candida, ergot, Cordyceps, Aspergillosis — any one of them could be capable of burrowing into our brains and taking control of not millions of us, but billions. Billions of puppets with poison minds… and there are no treatments for this, no preventatives. They don’t exist, it’s not even possible to make them.”

    We asked showrunner Craig Mazin, who also made HBO’s riveting Chernobyl, just how much of Hannah’s foreboding speech was based on actual science.

    “It’s real — it’s real to the extent that everything he says that fungus do, they do,” Mazin says. “And they currently do it and have been doing it forever. There are some remarkable documentaries that you can watch that are quite terrifying. Now his warning — what if they evolve and get into us? — from a purely scientific point of view, would they do exactly to us what they do to ants? I don’t think so. I doubt it. On the other hand, he’s right — LSD and psilocybin do come from fungus. What I told John was, ‘What we’re doing in this scene is telling people this has always been here.'”

    Mazin said the scene made him think of a similar concern he had while making Chernobyl.

    “What was so chilling to me was that [the Chernobyl nuclear plant] blew up that night, but it could have blown up a week before or it could have blown up a month before,” he said. “Which means that right now, there’s something that’s just waiting to blow up — you just don’t know about it. It was so upsetting to say to people, ‘We knew about this, it’s been there, now we’re gonna show you the night it finally happens.’ Not suddenly, but finally.”

    On an entirely different premiere episode topic, we also asked about the inspired song choice in the show’s final moments to use Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again,” noting it seemed rather perfect: one of the few ’80s hits that hasn’t been overplayed, and felt both foreboding and darkly comic.

    “My wife has an encyclopedic knowledge of 1980s music,” Mazin said. “And I was like, ‘OK, Melissa, this is what I need.’ And I literally said all the things you just said. I need it to be a song that I kind of know but I haven’t heard in a long time. One that hasn’t been beaten to death. And I needed it to have context. I needed to be meaningful. I needed to have be foreboding, and ideally, without being super on the nose, give me a comment. I needed to start a particular way so we can show that radio turning on. And then she was like: ‘Never Let Me Down Again.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.'”
    I don't have HBO so I'm not watching this. Anyone here watching it that can chime in on this?
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    And just like that...

    ...cordyceps is trending.


    Could a parasitic fungus evolve to control humans?
    The zombie-creating fungus in The Last of Us is real, but there are many other fungi to fear. Of the 5 million fungal species in the world, a few hundred are dangerous to people.

    • 5 MIN READ

    An ant, no longer in control of its body, crawls away from its colony, hangs perilously on a leaf, and waits to die as a fungus consumes its body, emerges from its head, and releases spores into the air.

    “They’re like these grim little Christmas ornaments out in the forest,” says Ian Will, a fungal geneticist at the University of Central Florida, where these zombified ants can be found.

    What if this parasitic fungus could do the same thing to us?

    That’s the premise of the new television show based on the video game The Last of Us in which, as a result of warming temperatures caused by climate change, a fungus takes over the world and turns humans into parasite-controlled zombies.

    “In a fantastical way, the logical links are there, but it’s not likely to happen in real life,” says Will. But while scientists aren’t worried about fungi evolving to turn people into zombies, rising temperatures do pose a real risk of making fungal infections worse.

    How does the parasite infect ants?

    Creator of The Last of Us Neil Druckmann was reportedly inspired by a nature video showing the fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, infecting a bullet ant. Cordyceps are a broad category of insect parasites, and a popular health supplement. But only ophiocordyceps control their host’s body.

    About 35 of these ophiocordyceps fungi are known to turn insects into zombies, but as many as 600 may exist, says Joăo Araújo, an expert on parasitic fungi at the New York Botanical Garden.

    The first signs of infection are erratic and abnormal behavior. Scientists think the parasite takes physical control of its host by growing fungal cells around the brain that hijack an insect’s nervous system to control its muscles. It’s unclear exactly how it does this, whether by releasing a chemical or altering a bug’s DNA, says Will.

    It’s a process the fungus has been refining within its specific host since before human history.

    “Our hypothesis is that they have been coevolving for about 45 million years,” says Araújo.

    Are we sure it can’t infect humans?

    For the fungus to move to any warm-blooded animal would require some serious evolutionary work.

    “If the fungus really wanted to infect mammals it would require millions of years of genetic changes,” Araújo.

    Each zombie-creating fungus species evolved to match a specific insect, so unique strains have little effect on an organism except for the one they evolved to infect. For example, a cordyceps that evolved to infect an ant in Thailand can’t infect a different ant species in Florida.

    “If a jump from an ant species is hard, to jump to humans—that’s definitely sci-fi,” says Will. “But this idea that temperature plays a role in fungal infections is certainly reasonable.”

    A threat from rising temperatures?

    Even without a looming threat from parasitic fungi, there are plenty of other fungi to fear.

    There are millions of fungal species estimated to exist in the world, and a few hundred are known to be dangerous to humans. One thing that’s protected us from serious fungal infections are our own warm bodies. At around 98°F, human bodies are too hot for most fungal species to spread an infection—they prefer a range of 77°F to 86°F.

    (Forget what you think you know about the average human body temperature.)

    “One of the reasons why we have skin fungi is they can get between folds of skin. Those are sort of wet, dark places fungi can proliferate that are cooler than body temperature,” says Shmuel Shoham, an infectious diseases expert at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

    “As the Earth warms up, there is concern that the change between environment temperature and body temperature won't be as dramatic,” he says. Hypothetically, that would make it easier for fungi that have evolved to withstand hotter outdoor temperatures to also be able to survive inside the human body.

    There is one fungal species capable of infecting people that scientists think may have resulted from warming temperatures, called Candida auris.

    It wasn’t even known to science until 2007, but in 2011 and 2012, it was suddenly found on three different continents.

    “It came out of nowhere,” says Arturo Casadevall, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The idea is that this fungus was out there, and over the years it adapted to higher temperatures until it could break through.”

    When they enter the bloodstream, fungi present symptoms similar to a bacterial infection, Shoham notes. For people with healthy immune systems, fighting them off is typically not an issue. But many are not so lucky: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 30 to 60 percent of patients infected with the fungus have died, although the possibility they had underlying health conditions makes it difficult to determine how pivotal a role Candida auris played.

    But when asked if a fungal outbreak akin to COVID-19 was possible, Casadevall says it’s not out of the question.

    Considering that possibility, he posits, “Am I worried about an unknown disease emerging and infecting the immunocompetent? Sure.”
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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