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Dave Matthews Talks Mushrooms With Howard Stern

Dave Matthews playing guitar

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Scientists may have discovered the first antidote to the deadliest mushroom known to humans

death cap mushrooms

The death cap is the deadliest mushroom known to humans. Each year, it kills an estimated 100 people and sickens thousands more. Many of its victims are unsuspecting foragers who mistake it for the edible fungi it resembles, like puffballs and paddy-straws. There is no antidote to the mushroom’s deadly toxin. The only way to survive if you mistakenly eat one — even downing just half a cap could shut down your liver — is a trip to the ER. But that may change soon enough.

A recent study in Nature Communications finally found a possible death cap mushroom antidote. The researchers report that an FDA-approved compound known as indocyanine green (ICG) can inhibit the mushroom’s deadly toxin.

A death cap mushroom antidote is long-awaited

Scientists have been studying death cap mushrooms since the early 1700s but an antidote has largely eluded them because “we know little about how mushroom toxins kill cells,” Qiaoping Wang, a professor of pharmacology at Sun Yat-Sen University and one of the study’s lead authors, told Insider.

Many toxins like cyanide, botulinum toxin, and asbestos can be destroyed or denatured by heating, drying, cooling, or boiling them. But none of these methods work on the death cap’s toxin, alpha-amanitin.

To identify a potential antidote, Wang and his colleagues turned to the gene-editing tool CRISPR. They screened thousands of human genes and discovered that a promising type of enzyme called STT3B. In particular, cells that lacked this STT3B survived when the scientists poisoned them with alpha-amanitin.

But deactivating STT3B in cells with CRISPR isn’t something you can just do in a hospital on a poisoned, dying patient. To identify a possible antidote for death cap victims, the researchers took the additional step to test various chemicals and their affect on STT3B.

They found a promising candidate in the chemical indocyanine green. “ICG is a potential STT3B inhibitor that can prevent AMA-induced cell death,” they reported in the study.

Will the antidote work for humans?

ICG is a dye that is currently used to diagnose liver and cardiac activity and check anomalies in blood vessels, tissues, and lymph nodes. When the researchers tested ICG in mice poisoned with the death cap mushroom toxin, the results were eye-opening.

“ICG has demonstrated significant potential in mitigating the toxic impact of alpha-amanitin in liver cells and mice,” Wang said.

About 50% of mice that received the ICG antidote survived the toxin. Moreover, no side effects were observed in mice as a result of the treatment.

Of course, further research is necessary to determine any therapeutic benefits in human subjects.

“To this end, the research team intends to conduct human trials to assess ICG’s efficacy in individuals who have recently ingested toxic mushrooms,” Wang told Insider. “These tests will yield more definitive results and provide a clearer picture of ICG’s potential to revolutionize the treatment of mushroom poisoning,” Wang said.


Originally posted at Insider

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Can adding mushrooms to your diet help with high blood sugar levels

Brown mushrooms on a chopping board.

For many, staying on top of heart health is a top-of-mind concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States—ahead of the likes of cancer and COVID-19—finding ways to keep factors that affect heart health like hypertension, or high blood pressure, in control are key.2

Now, new research revealed that adding one commonly accessible ingredient to your diet could contribute to lowering blood pressure levels—mushrooms. A review published in Phytotherapy Research spotlights how incorporating edible mushrooms into your diet might improve one’s hypertension.1

Brown mushrooms on a chopping board.The authors note that much has been written about the health benefits of these fungi ingredients, but it has often been “difficult to fully comprehend the role of mushrooms as dietary interventions in alleviating hypertension and other cardiovascular malfunctions.”

Among their findings, they explain that the mushroom-contained bioactive compounds like cordycepin, lovastatin, eritadenine, and ergosterol are thought to “directly influence gene expression that induces cardiovascular” function due to the fact they are structurally similar to, among other things, adenosine—a chemical that can lower blood pressure.

When asked to put these findings in context, Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and author of the book Recipe For Survival, told Health that a serving of mushrooms—for people who aren’t allergic, at least—could help lower blood pressure.

“In the context of an otherwise less-than-healthy diet, it may not make a huge or significant difference in overall risk,” she explained, “but when added to a varied and overall healthy Mediterranean or DASH diet, it may help even more.”

In their review, the study authors write that edible mushrooms have long been known to be “functional foods” that serve as a rich bioactive resource, meaning they contain compounds that stimulate bodily actions that generate overall good health.

Bioactive foods have been studied as preventive tools for not just heart disease, but cancer, among other conditions.3

The review notes that mushrooms are often incorporated in heart-healthy approaches to eating patterns like the Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets due to the fact that they contain bioactive substances like proteins, sterols, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and amino acids.

Dr. Hunnes added that mushrooms are known “to contain a decent amount of potassium per serving.” This would equate to about 11% of DV (daily value) or between 300 and 400mg. She explained that potassium is an important component of both DASH and Mediterranean diets due to the fact that “it can help regulate blood pressure,” which can in turn help reduce heart attack and stroke risk.

“Mushrooms are discussed as a part of a healthy plant-based diet not as the specific magic in hypertension management,” Mary Ellen DiPaola, RD, CDE, IBCLC, UCSF Outpatient senior dietitian, told Health. “Other non-nutrition lifestyle factors also play a significant role.”

In examining the review, Dr. Hunnes pointed to the fact that 1 serving—or 84 grams—of raw, edible mushrooms increased macronutrients (5%), dietary fiber (2%–6%), riboflavin (15%), potassium (11%), niacin (13%–26%), copper (13%–22%), vitamin D (9%–11%), and choline levels (14%).

“These nutrients and bioactive constituents play a role in cellular metabolism, circulating levels of certain micronutrients that may lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and blood pressure, such as potassium,” she explained.

“There are also a number of compounds—many of which may not even have a name yet—that contribute to the health benefits of mushrooms on the microbiome and/or blood pressure,” Dr. Hunnes continued.

In their paper’s conclusions, the authors note that the bioactive properties in mushrooms could pave the way for pharmaceutical innovations. They claim “these molecules could act as potential drug candidates that reduce hypertension, which also necessitates evidence from pharmacology and clinical biochemistry.”

While all of this might sound promising, what if you’re allergic to mushrooms?

DiPaola, who is also unaffiliated with the new research, noted that the DASH diet offers ingredients aside from mushrooms that contain many of the same heart health-promoting properties as the mushrooms outlined by the review—they are plant-based, contain adequate fiber, have less sodium, contain sufficient calcium, and feature moderate levels of protein.

“There may be other fungi out there that can act in a similar fashion to edible mushrooms for individuals who are allergic to mushrooms,” Dr. Hunnes suggested. “However, a whole-food, plant-based diet often confers similar, healthful benefits.”

If anything, the review spurs conversation around the many ways what we consume can benefit our cardiovascular health, including lowering high blood pressure levels.

DiPaola recommends plant-based, whole foods as evidenced by both the Mediterranean and DASH diets. Additionally, healthy lifestyle behaviors that include exercise, stress management, maintaining a healthy weight, and management of other comorbidities with heart disease are key.

The review authors clarify that mushrooms alone are not the sole answer and more research needs to be conducted to understand their bioactive compounds and how those impact hypertension.

“Thus, edible mushrooms have a lot of scope in clinical evaluations that necessitates phylogenetic and toxicological analysis of mushroom bioactive constituents,” the authors concluded. “So, next time when you stir up a ‘mushroom risotto,’ appreciate the potential of biologically and nutritionally unique fungus à la ‘edible mushrooms.’”

For her part, Dr. Hunnes recommended a well-rounded, nutrient-heavy diet.

She said, “A whole-food, plant-based diet that is varied in the types of plant-foods consumed—especially avocado, nuts, seeds, legumes, greens—can be extremely beneficial for blood pressure and heart health.”

Originally posted on

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Mushrooms use perspiration as a tool to stay cool

mushrooms with dew on them.

mushrooms with dew on them.It’s not yet clear why fungi might want to stay cool. However, the discovery sheds light on a potentially fundamental aspect of fungal biology and may even have implications for human health.

It is, to me, a very interesting unexplained phenomenon, said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, a microbiologist at Johns Hopkins University and one of the study authors on the new paper, published last month in PNAS.

Lead author Radamés Cordero, who is also a microbiologist at Johns Hopkins, used an infrared camera to snap pictures of mushrooms in the woods. Infrared cameras can visualize the relative temperatures of each object in a photo, and Cordero noticed something odd: The mushrooms seemed to be colder than their surroundings.

Scientists had previously observed that mushrooms tend to be colder than their environments. But Casadevall said he had never heard of the phenomenon, so the team decided to find out if this cooling effect applied to all fungi.

In addition to photographing wild mushrooms, the researchers grew and photographed different types of fungi in the lab and found the same effect the fungi were colder than their surroundings. This was even the case with their culture of Cryomyces antarcticus, a fungus that grows in Antarctica.

The fungi seem to cool down through evapotranspiration of water from their surface meaning, essentially, they sweat. Think about coming out of the shower, Casadevall told Live Science. When you’re covered in water, you feel cold because some of the water on your skin is evaporating, taking heat with it.

two small white mushrooms on a mossy hill with a blurry dark blue background dotted with white lights

Finding fungi sweat to keep cool could have implications for human health as species start to adapt to warmer global temperatures. (Image credit: Misha Kaminsky/Getty Images)
The team then created a sort of mushroom-powered air conditioner. They put mushrooms Agaricus bisporus, commonly sold in supermarkets as portobello and white mushrooms, among other names into a styrofoam box with a hole on each side. A fan was placed outside one of the holes, and they put this MycoCooler into a larger container and turned the fan on to circulate air over the mushrooms.

After 40 minutes, the air in the larger container had dropped from about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) down to about 82 F (27.8 C). The mushrooms had lowered the temperature through evaporative cooling, using up heat in the air to convert liquid water into gas.

The scientists are still unsure why fungi might want to keep cool.

In their paper, the authors speculate that it might have something to do with creating optimal conditions for spore formation, or it may help fungi spread their spores by altering the temperature, they might be causing tiny winds that can blow the spores around.

It’s also possible that this phenomenon is due to something else entirely. For example, evapotranspiration also increases humidity, and when asked if it’s possible that the fungi are trying to keep humid, and the cooling is simply a by-product, Casadevall said it was conceivable.

Understanding the reason behind this cooling phenomenon in mushrooms and other fungi could help us understand how fungi interact with their environment and other organisms ourselves included. Fungal diseases are estimated to kill more than 1.5 million people per year, many of them immunocompromised people.

At the moment, however, people also have some protection from fungal infections as we’re warm-blooded, and fungi don’t grow very well at our body temperature, Casadevall said.

But with climate change, fungi could start to adapt to warmer temperatures potentially enabling them to more easily infect humans. If we understand why a fungus might prefer cooler temperatures, it might be able to help us inhibit fungal infections, Casadevall said.

But so far, this new discovery likely poses more questions than answers. I think that if we could understand why why do they want to be a bit colder than the environment?, we’re going to learn a lot. Casadevall said.

Originally published on Livescience

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Why is 70% Alcohol Better for Disinfecting Mushroom Growing Equipment?

70% isopropyl alcohol used to sanitize still air boxes and mycology tools.

Isopropyl alcohol, particularly in solutions between 60% and 90% alcohol with 10 – 40% purified water, is rapidly antimicrobial against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Once alcohol concentrations drop below 50%, usefulness for disinfection drops sharply. Notably, higher concentrations of alcohol don’t generate more desirable bactericidal, virucidal, or fungicidal properties.

The presence of water is a crucial factor in destroying or inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microorganisms with isopropyl alcohol. Water acts as a catalyst and plays a key role in denaturing the proteins of vegetative cell membranes. 70% IPA solutions penetrate the cell wall more completely which permeates the entire cell, coagulates all proteins, and therefore the microorganism dies. Extra water content slows evaporation, therefore increasing surface contact time and enhancing effectiveness. Isopropyl alcohol concentrations over 91% coagulate proteins instantly. Consequently, a protective layer is created which protects other proteins from further coagulation.

Solutions > 91% IPA do kill bacteria, but sometimes require longer contact times for disinfection, and enable spores to lie in a dormant state without being killed. In this analysis, a 50% isopropyl alcohol solution kills Staphylococcus Aureus in less than 10 seconds (pg. 238), yet a 90% solution with a contact time of over two hours is ineffective. Some disinfectants will kill spores, which are classified as chemical sterilants.

Some bacteria transform into spore cells when external conditions are unfavorable; the result is reduced metabolic activity, higher ‘cidal’ resistance, and immunity from alcohol-based disinfectants. Spores lie dormant, and once conditions become favorable again, the microbe converts back to a vegetative state and grows actively. When examining the effectiveness of IPA, accurately translating its benefits and shortcomings require distinctions of identity, purity, sterility, and intended use. Disinfection, unlike sterilization, does not provide sporicidal attributes.

Proper Uses of Isopropyl Alcohol Require Distinction Between Sanitation, Sterilization, and Disinfection

Isopropyl alcohol is excluded from classification as a high-level disinfectant because of its inability to eradicate bacterial spores and hydrophilic viruses such as polio. Its low-level categorization outlines effectiveness for cleanroom wipedown for disinfecting tools and packaging that must pass into ultra-clean spaces.

70% isopropyl alcohol upholds key requirements for use as a bactericidal in cleanrooms or medical facilities, but also for general purposes. 70% IPA/30% water solutions produce less vapor and odor, therefore reducing risks of toxic fumes or combustion. When isopropyl alcohol reacts with air, light, and oxygen, it forms unstable peroxides which increase the likeliness of explosion, especially when heated with aluminum. IPA volatility increases with storage time and alcohol concentration, especially when exposed to light over multiple years after opening.

70% IPA is less flammable but also offers a more economical price point for general wipe down and large-surface disinfection. Likewise, high-moisture alcohols evaporate slower and increase contact time without becoming immediately dry.

Is Isopropyl Alcohol Effective Against Fungus and Fungal Spores?

Isopropyl alcohol may be intermittently effective against fungus but it is not effective against fungal spores. Treatment of mold and fungus is generally considered a problem of moisture and humidity. Applying a surface level cleaner may have little or no effect on fungal removal. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide are more commonly associated with remedying mold and fungus outbreaks.

Originally posted at PAC

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Extraction Teks


December 28 2002

Solvent: 190 proof ethyl alcohol (common name everclear)

This technique describes how to extract psilocybin from magic mushrooms with pure 190 proof ethyl alcohol and make a magic mushroom liqueur of concentrated psilocybin to effect a powerful psychedelic dose as potent as desired. The entire process involves only the shrooms and alcohol. The alcohol is food grade and acquired from a liquor store.


Acquire  at least several grams of dried shroom material to make the process worthwhile and effective. The shrooms need to be thoroughly dry (cracker dry) to allow pulverization.  powder them in a small canister type coffee bean grinder.

In a heat resistant soaking vessel (pyrex glass), combine the shroom powder with several times its volume with 190 proof Everclear (ethanol). This is the “slurry”. Place the soaking vessel in a pan of boiling water. Raising the soaking vessel off the bottom of the hot water pan is a good idea for preventing serious sticking of the good extracts. The slurry will
start to boil. Turn the water boiling pan heat down and let the slurry sit for a few hours at a warm-hot temp. Alcohol boils at a lower temp than water. Watch the temperatures closely. Things can get totally out of hand and ruined very quickly without close attention paid.

While the slurry is still hot, filter it through filter paper. This is probably the most important part. A good filtration will be efficient and will keep most of the shroom material out, making for a clean extraction (clean of  shrooms that is – but heavy on psilocybin). A small lab type vacuum pump powered bottle top filtering funnel with filter disk holder makes it all really
easy and fast, with little waste. That is why this extraction idea is  really only for the fanatics.

Collect and save the filtrate liquids. Heat the slurry (the mush in the filter paper) one or two more times with the 190 proof as before, filter, and accumulate
the liquids of the extractions.

Inexpensive dust-pollen masks make excellent filters for the slurry. These are available at hardware, drug and paint stores. They are usually white or tan colored, fit over the nose and mouth and are held on to the face by a rubber band attached to the filter. Fashion the filter over the mouth of a drinking glass. Squeeze the filter and slurry to extract the alcohol. There are many details to deal with, but doing it once reveals them all. Experience is the best teacher. Store the extracted alcohol in a fresh bottle.

Combine the alcohol extracts into a glass. Place a small electric fan (small desk clip on fans are perfect) near the glass and point the air flow directly down into the glass until the surface of the alcohol ripples. This will speed the evaporation and concentration. The process will take several hours. The more alcohol extract – the longer the evaporation time. As the alcohol evaporates and the level recedes down into the glass, wash the residue that adheres to the inside of the glass back into the solution. Any fumes that are generated will be harmless because the alcohol is a non poisonous drinkable spirit. Keep flames away from the solution – pure alcohol is very flammable.

One can also use heat to evaporate and concentrate the elixir. Use a double boiler type of set up to heat and evaporate off the alcohol to concentrate the elixir.

The concentrated shroom liqueur will have a pungent mushroomy aroma (like fungi perfume). Also, a white crystalline kind of precipitate will form in the alcohol elixir (see
above photo). Store it in small screw cap bottles or vials in the freezer. Alcohol doesn’t freeze solid and will remain liquid.


  • shrooms
  • 190 proof ethyl alcohol (GOLDEN GRAIN – EVERCLEAR ect)
  • Pyrex glass wide mouth slurry soaking vessel
  • funnel and filtering set up – or
  • dust-pollen masks
  • small desk fan

Pro Tips

  1. Use warm-hot temps when soaking the initial slurry (shroom-alki). Use the hot water bath idea from the Gottlieb tek below. Avoid hot bottomed slurry soak vessels. The good stuff can bake on and stick very easily.
  2. A good filter is a must. Lab quality filter paper helps for a cleaner extract (less shroom stuff). The fanatic should get a little bottle top vacuum filtering funnel with a hand squeeze vacuum pump and fine slow flow filtering papers. (science supply – not cheap – but affordable for the fanatics – look for the 47 millimeter filter sized set ups – small but perfect for this).
  3. When filtering the slurry, do it while it is hot.
  4. The crystals when heated in the initial slurry are free base molecules. In the final liqueur on cool down, the free base molecules will coalesce and form crystals. It takes a day or two for the process to be complete. The smaller the final amount of liqueur, the easier it is for the molecules to meet each other and combine. When you get your final magic liqueur, the free base psilocybin will coalesce and form whitish crystals. At first they might look like whitish glue, but they transform in solution to hard crystals.
  5. The final elixir will have a layer of crystals on the bottom of the storage vessel. The freebase Psilocybin molecules come together fast in the cool alcohol. When it is time for dosage, reheat the crystal liqueur in its storage vessel in a pot of hot water. Boil the liqueur and stir and scrape deposits from the glass as the liqueur boils lightly. Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water. Keep the storage vessel off the bottom of the boiling water pot. Direct heat is very bad for the elixir, making it stick. As the liqueur boils, the crystals will remelt with time.  The large particles of the crystals can be crushed with a long needle probe to hurry up the process. When the crystals are gone, administer the magic liqueur while it is HOT. Using a syringe enables uniformity and accuracy of the dosages. The hot liqueur quickly becomes cloudy on slight cooling. So a hot temp of the liqueur with re-melted crystals is important for accurate dosage administration. Or the crystals can be dried and used as they are!
  6. Or, the crystalline extract can be completely dried by placing the elixir container in front of a small fan to get most of the liquid out. To complete the drying, desiccant is recommended. Place the small vessel of liquid extract into a larger jar with quality desiccant. It takes several days to complete drying, but the final crystalline substance is very dry, loose, and can be weighed and worked with very easily.



Getting crystals is really moot. I think the following scheme for dosing and storage is the only way to go. With this way, one doesn’t have to deal with the problems of crystallization
and other things related. Plus, the dry crystals would be much more prone to potency loss if left dry. If they are in an alcohol solution, that would be better for preservation.

As an example, one can start with 20 grams of dried shrooms. After the filtration of the hot slurry, the resultant liqueur should be put into an evaporation vessel and with a fan blowing
air across the mouth of the vessel, the liqueur should be evaporated down to about 50 milliliters. Then, in a double boiler, heat the small amount of liqueur to put the crystals and extract back into a cloudy solution. Then while it is hot, dispense 10 cc of the liqueur into waiting small storage jars with watertight caps. Each small jar is allowed to cool, the cap is put on and the jar is placed into the freezer for storage. Then when it is time to trip, the desired jars are removed from the freezer, allowed to warm to room temps, the lids taken off, a small fan set up blowing air across the jars mouths and the liquor evaporated off to a manageable “hit”. The small jars then become administration “spoons” – where the entire contents (alcohol – water – and extract) can be polished off with the tongue.

by Adam Gottlieb 1976

Solvent: Methanol


Crumble and pulverize the dried mycelial material and combine each 100 mg of this material with 10 ml of methanol. Place the flask in a hot water bath for four hours. Filter the liquids with suction through a filter paper in a buchner funnel with Celite to prevent clogging. Collect and save the filtrate liquids. Heat the slurry (the mush in the filter paper) two more times in methanol as before, filter, and accumulate the liquids of the three extractions. To be certain that all of the alkaloids have been extracted do a small extraction with a portion of the used slurry and test with Keller’s reagent (glacial acetic acid, ferrous chloride, and concentrated sulfuric acid). If there is a violet indication, alkaloids are still present and further extraction is in order.

In an open beaker evaporate the liquids to total dryness with a hot water bath or by applying a hair dryer. Be certain that all traces of methanol have been removed. The remaining residue should contain 25-50 percent psilocybin/psilocin mixture. Greater purification can be achieved, but would require other solvents and chromatography equipment and is hardly necessary.

Each 100 grams of dried mycelium should yield about 2 grams of extracted material. This should contain at least 500 mg of psilocybin/psilocin mixed or about fifty 10 mg doses. Theoretically psilocin should have the same effect upon the user as psilocybin. The only difference between the two is that the later has a phosphate bond which disappears immediately after assimilation in the body. In other words, in the body psilocybin turns into psilocin. Psilocybin is a fairly stable compound, but psilocin is very
susceptible to oxidization. It is best to keep the extracted material in a dry air tight container under refrigeration. A sack of silica-gel can be placed in the container to capture any moisture that may enter.


The standard dose of psilocybin or psilocin for a 150 lb person is a 6-20 mg dose. We will figure the average dose as 10 mg. The crude alkaloid extraction process given here yields a brownish crystalline powder that is at least 25 percent pure. Each mason jar should contain at least 50 grams of wet mycelium. After drying this would be about 5 grams of material. The
crude material extracted from this should contain 25-30 mg of psilocybin/ psilocin or roughly 2-3 hits. This yield may very to some extent depending upon several factors. Many of these species contain less of these alkaloids than dose Psilocybe cubensis and the alkaloidal content of this species may very in different strains. Cultivation conditions have alot to do with yield too. Higher temperatures (75 degrees F.) cause more rapid growth but lesser psilocybin content than do lower temperatures (70 degrees F.) One must test each new batch of extracted material to determine the proper distribution of dosages. Depending on the potency of the mycelia and how well the extraction was conducted the dose may range between 25 and 100 mg. Also bear in mind that the dose varies for different individuals.


Solvent: Ethanol

Paul Stamets – 1996 – book – “PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS of the WORLD”. Quote – page 50-51:
“Another method I have seen is to soak crushed mushrooms in 75+% ethanol. After two to three days, the roughage can be filtered, leaving a dark-blue elixir that can be decanted accordingly. For every fresh 5 grams of mushrooms, 25-30 milliliters of alcohol is recommended. Psilocybin and psilocin dissolve into this solvent, and the alcohol also acts as a preservative. I really don’t have much experience with this technique, but have talked to people who say it is their preferred method. Some call this “blue juice.”

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Stems vs Caps which has more mushroom magic?

caps and stems

A 2020 study on the Stability of psilocybin in the biomass of the psychotropic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis named “caps” the winner…. Sorta.

The stipes contained approximately half the amount of tryptamine alkaloids (0.52 wt.%) than the caps (1.03 wt.%); however, these results were not statistically significant, as the concentration of tryptamines in individual fruiting bodies is highly variable.

What’s is all mean?

This means that although the average content of tryptamines in caps is higher than in stipes, due to the Standard Deviation, where there is high variability between individual fruiting bodies, it cannot be said that this statement applies to all fruiting bodies.

The evidence seems to support Schrödinger’s mushroom paradox of quantum superposition stating that the stem both will and won’t f’ you up…

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Bulk Spawn and Casing Tek

Tamping substrate with a gloved hand

Items we'll need to case our bulk spawn corn. Drop cloth, corn jars, alcohol, saran wrap. 9x13 baking pans we'll use to case our bulk spawn in.


What we’ll need to create 4 13×9 birthday cakes.

2 x 6lb coir, vermiculite, & gypsum bulk substrate bags or your favorite equivalent.
basic 9x13 baking pan2 x 1qt Colonized Grain spawn jars.  We’ll split the colonized corn between the two pans.
4 x 13×9 baking pans. You’re looking for a basic Steel or aluminum rolled edge baking pan with no handles on the ends.

1 x pair of gloves.
70% alcohol spritz bottle.
plastic wrap with a slide cutter.
Cardboard, newspaper, etc to catch crumbs and make cleanup easier.


Place the four pans in the oven and bake them at 350° for 30 min.
Cheap steel baking pans are great. They’re easy to sterilize, compact while colonizing, no plastic liners required, and they slip in and out of your monotub without a mess. This minimizes the cleaning required to ready a monotub.

Mix (Spawning Grain to Bulk Substrate)rolled bagMixing 1 corn jar with 1 6lb bulk spawn bag.

While your pans are cooling, dump the contents of 1qt corn jar into your bulk spawn bag.  Roll the top down on your bag and mix corn and substrate together by squeezing the outside of the bag and shaking vigorously. A really good mix helps the mushy colonize the entire cake quickly. Increasing your chances for a successful grow.


Pour the substrate grain mix into the first two pans. Pat the mix to sculpt a smooth even top. Swipe your hand left and right if necessary to even things out.


Wrap half the width of the the cling wrap over your cake and continue looping under then over the pan two more times until it’s completely covered end to end. It will feel a little awkward at first.  This is done to keep moisture in the substrate and block out contaminants while the cake colonizes. Leave at least half a width of the cling wrap loose off the end for air exchange.  We highly recommend keeping spawn pans in a room with an air scrubber while they colonize.


With this simple tek you can reliably make contamination free bulk substrate cakes.  Once you’re cakes have completed colonizing drop them into your favorite monotub.


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Are humans and mushrooms related?

Brown Oyster Mushroom

Think back to the last time you walked through a dense, overgrown forest. You probably saw all kinds of plant life – vines, bushes, moss, trees, and a healthy number of fallen logs. A forest is one of the best places to see the circle of life at its most beautiful, which is when life balances with death.

When things die in nature, they begin to break down and decompose, which is where fungi come into play.

Fungi belong to a kingdom all their own, just like animals, plants, bacteria, and protista (algae). They are eukaryotic organisms that absorb nutrients from other organic matter. When a tree falls, or an animal dies, fungi are typically the first on the scene to begin the natural process of decomposition.

Upon seeing a mushroom, most people would immediately view it as a vegetative organism, one that is closely related to plants. However, as recent research has shown, mushrooms are, in fact, more closely related to humans than to plants!

The classification of living organisms

Humans have always been fascinated by life in all its forms. Thousands of years ago, we classified life on earth into just two categories: plants and animals. Aristotle then further divided animals into those with and without blood and those in the land, sea, and air.

That rudimentary system remained in place until the 1600s. In the 18th century, Carl Linnaeus divided life into the kingdoms of animals and plants and then divided them further into different genera and species, which is why we have a two-part naming system in science (Homo sapiens, for example; Homo is the genus and sapiens is the species).

It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that single-celled organisms were finally given their due as a separate kingdom of life (Protista). Seventy years later, single-celled organisms were divided into eukaryotes and prokaryotes, so bacteria became the fourth kingdom of life. Although fungi had been recognized as a unique part of the animal kingdom, it was not until 1969 that it was divided into a separate kingdom. This five-kingdom system remains the most widely accepted format for classifying life on earth.

Until recently, all classifications of life, including the expansion from two kingdoms to five kingdoms, were based on physical observations of how things looked, even under a microscope. This is how the closeness and relationships between species, genera, classes, orders, and kingdoms were decided. Given this, it comes as no surprise that most people classified fungi as plants for so long. The similarity in appearance is pretty clear; after all, some look like little red and white trees.

Using similarities in DNA to classify organisms

However, thanks to modern technology, the analysis of genetic relationships between species and organisms is now possible and has led to looking at relationships between forms of life differently. In 1990, Carl Woese proposed the “Three Domains System” of classification based on genetic similarities between organisms. The system shows a common ancestor of all life divided into three broad domains—Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryotes (the organisms with a nucleus to store their DNA).

By examining the genes of different species, both animal and fungi, mutational changes can be observed, and genealogical relationships can be determined that stretch back millions of years.

As it turns out, animals and fungi share a common ancestor and branched away from plants sometime around 1.1 billion years ago. Only later did animals and fungi separate on the genealogical tree of life, making fungi more closely related to humans than plants. Most likely, this common ancestor was a single-celled organism that exhibited sperm-like characteristics (like an animal) and then a later developmental stage with a stronger cell wall (fungi).

Are mushrooms vegetables?

Simple answer? No, a mushroom is not a vegetable. Mushrooms are fruiting bodies of macroscopic filamentous fungi. When mycology (the study of fungi) first arose, it was a part of botany because fungi were regarded as primitive plants.

The main difference between a plant (vegetable) and a mushroom is how they acquire their food. Plants possess chlorophyll and produce their food through photosynthesis. Fungi exist on decaying material in nature. In addition, there are obvious structural differences, such as the lack of leaves, roots, and seeds. Thus, fungi now have their own kingdom based on the cellular organization.

However, this is the scientific side of things, but let’s take a look at the other side – food! In everyday life, we do not use science to classify our food. Tomatoes and cucumbers are scientifically the fruits of a plant, but we still call them vegetables. Similarly, mushrooms are not vegetables or fruits, or even meat. They are in themselves a different category, but for convenience, we lump them together with vegetables.

Different kinds of mushrooms have various health benefits. At one point in history, mushrooms were so highly regarded that it was actually forbidden for the common folk to eat them! They were reserved only for royal families.

The Mushrooms and Men have similar DNA.

Haven’t you ever noticed that eating a perfectly cooked portobello mushroom feels a lot closer to eating meat than a salad? Well, that isn’t exactly a scientific explanation of the connection, but genetic studies show that there may be a common ancestor from which both animals and fungi evolved.

In 1993, researchers Baldouf and Palmer published a paper, ‘Animals and fungi are each other’s closest relatives: congruent evidence from multiple proteins’. They compared 25 proteins and their DNA sequences between bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi. They found that animals and fungi exhibited similarities in certain proteins that plants and bacteria did not have. “This congruence among multiple lines of evidence strongly suggests, in contrast to the traditional and current classification, that animals and fungi are sister groups, while plants constitute an independent evolutionary lineage,” the researchers write in their paper.

A 2005 paper described how both animals and fungi are relatives of protists through protein analysis. Researchers are still teasing out the complex relationships between animals and fungi, but there is enough evidence to suggest that you and a mushroom have more in common than a plant has with a mushroom.

How much do you remember about your mushoom relations?

Originally posted at  Sciencebc

You might also like: The Elders: A Story of Mushroom and Man

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