How fungi stage a deadly under-water attack on Aedes mosquito larvae

Insect pathogenic fungi can grow in liquid suspensions and on solid substrates, and their spores can attack and kill mosquitoes in aquatic or terrestrial environments. A new study demonstrates that the fungal attack of aquatic Aedes larvae is a particular rapid and effective way of mosquito control.

Source: How fungi stage a deadly under-water attack on Aedes mosquito larvae

Hijacked cell division helped fuel rise of fungi: Research could point to new antifungals that stop cell growth in fungi but not in their plant or animal hosts

The more than 90,000 known species of fungi may owe their abilities to spread and even cause disease to an ancient virus that hijacked their cell division machinery, researchers report. Over a billion years ago, a viral protein invaded the fungal genome, generating a family of proteins that now play key roles in fungal growth. The research could point to new antifungals that inhibit cell division in fungi but not in their plant or animal hosts.

Source: Hijacked cell division helped fuel rise of fungi: Research could point to new antifungals that stop cell growth in fungi but not in their plant or animal hosts

Making batteries with portabella mushrooms: Porous structure of portabella mushrooms is key to making efficient batteries that could power cell phones, electric vehicles

Can portabella mushrooms stop cell phone batteries from degrading over time? Researchers think so. They have created a new type of lithium-ion battery anode using portabella mushrooms, which are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy to produce.

Read more… Making batteries with portabella mushrooms: Porous structure of portabella mushrooms is key to making efficient batteries that could power cell phones, electric vehicles

Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions on the International Space Station

Scientists have gathered tiny fungi that take shelter in Antarctic rocks and sent them to the International Space Station. After 18 months on board in conditions similar to those on Mars, more than 60 percent of their cells remained intact, with stable DNA. The results provide new information for the search for life on the red planet. Lichens from the Sierra de Gredos (Spain) and the Alps (Austria) also traveled into space for the same experiment.

Source: Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions on the International Space Station