Plenary Address - Dr. Paul Stamets
Stamets, Paul .
Solutions from Nature: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.
Earth is engaged in its 6th Major Extinction, our biosphere is quickly changing, eroding our life support systems. We need to adopt policies and technologies that can cause a course correction or species diversity will continue to plummet. Mushrooms offer practical solutions that can be put into practice now. Six inventions can help steer ecosystems and humanity to a healthier future.
Through the evolution of mushrooms in ecosystems, fungi help heal environments. As environmental and human healths are inextricably interconnected, fungi offer unique opportunities that capitalize on mycelium's diverse properties. Fungi are molecular dis-assemblers in nature, decomposing plants and animals and creating soils. Forest dwelling mushroom mycelium can achieve the greatest mass of any living organism, and this characteristic is a testimonial to the inherent biological power of the fungus.
Mycelium can replace chemical insecticides and break down toxic wastes, including petroleum-based toxins into non-toxic forms. Understanding mycelium's production of antibiotics is useful not only to compete with bacteria in nature but has also proven useful for preventing vectors of diseases that afflict animals, and ultimately humans.
A dozen species of mushrooms will be explored from a historical perspective to current clinical studies. The U.S. BioShield BioDefense program, wherein the author’s extracts, were the first natural products from hundreds of thousands of samples tested, found to be potent inhibitors of pox, bird flu and other viruses, will also be discussed. As ecosystems become stressed, diseases proliferate, and many scientists predict a viral storm is imminent. Research shows mushrooms have a surprisingly broad range of anti-infective properties, especially against E. coli and Staph bacteria. If it were not for the biological prejudice against “mushrooms,” and the recognition that mycelium can offer many of the solutions we need, science would be better prepared for facing these challenges.
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1 - Fungi Perfecti, PO Box 7634, Olympia, WA, 98507
Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Location: Room 2/Woodward
Date: Sunday, July 27th, 2008
Time: 7:30 PM