Thursday, May 29, 2014

Notes from Paul Stamets' Talk in Philadelphia on May 2nd

Paul Stamets
The Wagner Free Science Institute
2 May 2014

Paul’s Hat
  • Fomes fomentarius (a Hoof Polypore mushroom) aka Tinder mushroom – used to make Amadou (a spongy, flammable substance)
  • Critical to our survival – used to carry fire
  • Boil the Mushroom, it delaminates and is very flamable
  • Hypocrates used as a medicine - A styptic (also spelled stiptic) is a specific type of antihemorrhagic agent that works by contracting tissue to seal injured blood vessels. Styptic pencils containastringents.

“Habitats have immune systems and mycelium is essential to communication.” (Paraphrazed)

Convince timber industry to chop and mulch rather than burn
  • Produces faster growing trees
  • Stores carbon rather than releasing it

Mushroom cultivation variables
  • CO2 exposure determines length of stem
  • Light exposure determines width of the cap

A Human foot covers ~ 300 miles of mycelium (may be inaccurate, I didn’t catch the number)

Small voids between strands of mycelium hold water.  As the voids lose water, micro communities of bacteria grow in the voids and help mushrooms.

Ratio of bacteria cells to human cells in the body:  100 to 1

Epigenesis – the ability to adapt with a network design

Japanese Slime mold experiment – Atsushi Tero et al. 2010
  • Subway design optimization using slime mold

“Pairing with fungi during extinction events increases chances of survival.” (Paraphrazed)

Prototaxites – 30 foot tall giant mushroom that towered over all vegetation on earth in a time when no vegetation reached above ~2 feet.  Fossil of prototaxites was found in Saudi Arabia?  (

Honey Mushroom - Armillaria
  • parasitic, kills trees
  • can create huge swirl patterns in trees

Mycellium is the immune system of the mushroom

Network structure creates resiliency

Enokitake Mushrooms
  • Farmers growing these mushrooms showed significantly lower cancer rates

 Slide taken from Paul's presentation

Lion’s Mane Mushroom - Hericium erinaceus
  • Contain Nerve Growth Factors that promote nerve cell growth
  • Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.
  • Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice.
    • By Mori K1, Obara Y, Moriya T, Inatomi S, Nakahata N.
    • Mice given amyloid plaque causing polypeptide
      • Control mice react to new object, mice with amyloid plaques lose curiosity and problem-solving ability (navigating a maze)
      • After ~21 days eating Lion’s Mane, the mice regained curiosity and maze-solving ability

Shiitake - Lentinula edodes
  • Drying shiitake produces Vitamin D in mushroom
  • UVB exposure skyrockets Vitamin D
  • Dried Shiitake can produce Vitamin D and store it for years
    • Control: 40 IU/mg
    • Sunlight 10 hours: 46000 IU/mg
    • UVB 14 hours: 267000 IU/mg
Stropharia - Wine Cap Mushroom - Garden Giant Mushroom

Mycoremediation of oil spills
  • Hemp bags, filled with grasses, fermented in salt water will grow mushrooms
    • Used to corral oil slicks and break down hydrocarbons

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) – Dangerous to environment when harvested commercially

Stamets model for permaculture – in “Growing Gourmet” book by Paul stamets

Agarikon - Laricifomes officinalis - endorheic mycorrhizal fungi - Nicknamed “elixir of life”
  • Contains compounds effective against various flu/pox virus strains
  • Doesn’t Rot, rather petrifies the supporting tree branch with calcium oxalate
  • Anti-tuberculosis / anti-microbial properties
  • Google: “Small Pox Stamets”

73% of Anti-cancer drugs come from natural sources

Worst Cancer – Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • “Nghiem Hypothesis”  - Dr. Paul Nghiem MD, PhD

Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)
  • Effective in studies against Breast Cancer
  • Seem to de-cloak tumor cells from the body’s immune system

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