Thursday, May 22, 2008

Paul Stamets - Fungus Evangelist

Paul Stamets is a very focused man. He's made a career out of fungi from books like Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms to editing scientific journals and advising medical schools. His website Fungi Perfecti is full of resources and information. Spend a little while there and you'll get the idea that there's a lot more to the kingdom than stuff growing in the back of your fridge.

This video will give you a little peek into his world. It ranges from basic biology to the really amazing. Who knew that the world's largest organism is a gigantic fungus in Eastern Oregon or that they use ionizing radiation the way that plants use light? Then he gets into half a dozen ways that fungi can be used to address very real problems. They include his revolutionary patents for carpenter ant and termite abatement to breaking down the hydrocarbons in diesel-soaked ground and DoD research on agarikon mushrooms that produce the most specific and effective agents for each individual strain of bird flu as well as cellulose-based ethanol and carbon sequestration.


Sean said...

I actually tell friends who are looking for good examples of online video to check out TED Talks first... very well done

this is one I havent seen before... thanks for the pointer

steve-vh said...

Considering your readership, you should know that probably quite a few of us know about the world's largest living organism, I did.
We're into stuff like that.

Dan Gambiera said...

I'd kind of hoped so. It seemed worth mentioning.