The Giant puffball is a type of puffball mushroom, known for its sometimes giant fruiting-body proportions. Older specimens
can be much bigger
than the young fruiting-body seen above, sometimes reaching to 70 cm in diameter, but there are records of 150 cm-diameter puffballs with a staggering weight of 20 kilograms.
When the fungus matures, it will turn brown from the spores it is producing. The puffballs are generally lightweight and have almost no stalk, so they can freely roll in the wind to release their spores.
The immature Giant puffballs are edible, and apparently have the texture and taste of tofu. Slugs and other bottom-dwelling organism feed on the fruiting-body, so check for spores and marks of other animals before eating.
Recently I speculated that George Joestar was the source of all evils in the JoJo universe. I admit, that was a bit of an exaggeration. But make no mistake: That man is evil. It’s my belief that at the very least, he is indirectly responsible for Made In Heaven in part 6. This theory is going to contain plenty of spoilers from parts 1 through 6, so if you’ve only watched the new anime then you’ll probably want to avert your eyes. (Also, trigger warning for body horror)
A fungus called Cryptococcus gattii can cause life-threatening infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems. One-third of AIDS-related deaths are thought to be caused by the fungus.
But though people in Southern California have been getting sick from C. gatti for years, nobody knew how.
“We had a good idea that the fungus was going to be associated with trees,” says , a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University who studies C. gatti. “We just didn’t know what trees.”
And she didn’t have the time to find out.
But someone did: Elan Filler, a 7th grader who was looking for a science fair project. Her dad, , an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, ran into , Springer’s advisor, at a conference, and told him about Elan. Heitman told Springer.
Elan Filler and Springer connected on email and figured out a plan. Soon Elan was making her way around greater Los Angeles, swabbing tree trunks and growing out the fungus in Petri dishes. None of the eucalyptus trees in the first batch she gathered tested positive for C. gattii, so she expanded her tests to include more types of trees.
Springer analyzed the genetic fingerprints of fungi in the samples that Elan sent to North Carolina.
Bingo! C. gattii from three trees, Canary Island pine, New Zealand pohutukawa and American sweet gum, matched almost exactly with C. gattii from infected patients. And the tree samples matched not just those from recent patients but from people who were sick 10 to 12 years ago. Thus this strain of C. gattii has been causing health problems in California for at least that long.
The were published Thursday in PLOS Pathogens.
The Canary Island pine is one tree species that hosts a fungus that causes disease in humans.
“The Last of Us” is going to the big screen.
Deadline Hollywood reports that Sony’s Screen Gems production company will distribute the film adaptation of the the wildly popular PlayStation 3 game developed by Naughty Dog, creators of the “Uncharted” series. Neil Druckman, the game’s creative director, will write the script.
Creators of the post-apocalyptic game have cited multiple inspirations, including ”The Road,” and “No Country for Old Men” the film adaptations of two Cormac McCarthy novels. The main characters, Joel and Ellie, are left to navigate a world that’s been ravaged by a fungus that’s turning people into zombies. It’s a hit thanks to its complex story line and stunning graphics, and was rated one of the best games of the year by Metacritic and IGN.
This could be promising on multiple feminist fronts.
The game has attracted attention for its strong female character, Ellie. She’s a precocious teenager who’s modern and multi-faceted. The game even explores themes of female friendship: Naughty Dog’s latest downloadable chapter focuses on Ellie’s relationship with her best friend, Riley.
Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has published multiple videos explaining sexist tropes in video games, such as the damsel in distress, or the Ms. Male character.
Plus, there aren’t many female-driven story lines in Hollywood movies these days as Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep noted recently. A movie version of “The Last of Us” means a highly-visible and meaty role for the lucky actress who lands the part.