science
The Fungus That Turns Ants Into Zombies is More Diabolical Than We Realised

Carpenter ants of the Brazilian rain forest have it rough. When one of these insects gets infected by a certain fungus, it turns into a so-called “zombie ant” and is no longer in control of its actions. Manipulated by the parasite, an infected ant will leave the cosy confines of its arboreal home and head to the forest floor—an area more suitable for fungal growth. After parking itself on the underside of a leaf, the zombified ant anchors itself into place by chomping down onto the leaf. This marks the ant’s final act. From here, the fungus continues to grow and fester inside the ant, eventually thrusting a stalk through the ant’s head that releases fungal spores. This entire process, from start to finish, can take upwards of ten agonising days. Read More >>

science
A ‘Superbug’ Fungus Is Spreading Across the US

Over the past nine months, the number of US cases of an emerging, multi-drug resistant fungus has ballooned from 7 to more than 122. What’s more, the fungus, Candida auris, seems to be spreading, according to a field report the Centers for Disease Control released Thursday. Read More >>

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Watching Glow-in-the-Dark Fungi Grow is Damn Amazing

That’s it. I’m leaving the country. Since Planet Earth II isn’t available stateside yet, I can’t in my right mind live here knowing that there are other people in this world enjoying the soul lifting freedom that comes with seeing all this beyond-gorgeous footage of our world and every creature in it. Just watch this clip from the latest episode, “Jungle,” showing glow-in-the-dark fungi sprouting up in a time lapse. It’s unreal. Read More >>

science
A Dreaded Superbug Has Officially Arrived in the United States

The US Centers for Disease Control has released a report in which it identifies over a dozen cases of a deadly, antibiotic-resistant fungus called Candida auris. It’s the first time this super-strain has been found in the US, and disturbingly, four of the first seven patients infected with it have died. Read More >>

science
Something Is Killing Off Australia’s Chillies

Chilli peppers in Australia have been turning black and rotting on the vine, seemingly without explanation. Now researchers have finally identified just what’s been killing these poor chillies. Read More >>

lichen
We’ve Been Wrong About Lichen For 150 Years

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. Trouble is, that story is nowhere near complete. Read More >>

science
The Way That Mushrooms Bring the Rain Will Astound You

In forests across the world, Earth’s decomposers are helping seed clouds and promote rainstorms. Read More >>

science
New Study Suggests Alzheimer’s is Associated with Brain Fungus

Every year, more people over the age of 65 are suffering from dementia. Researchers are still searching for a cause, but a new study offers a fascinating possibility: some cases of Alzheimer’s may be linked to a simple brain fungus. Read More >>