Episodes
How did multicellular life evolve? We don’t know! However, fungi are helping us develop ideas about the emergence of complex life. Today we are joined by Dr. William Ratcliff, who has successfully induced naturally unicellular yeast to evolve into multicellular ‘snowflake yeasts’ in his lab at Georgia Tech. Prepare for a delightful interview featuring evolutionary history, biotechnology, semantics, philosophy, and life itself. Dr. William Ratcliff has his Ph.D. in Ecology evolution and...
Published 07/21/21
Love chocolate? You have fungi to thank for that! On today's show we are walking you through the complex journey between the cocoa bean and a chocolate bar.  The unmatchable decadence is achieved by unique fermentation methods and microbes. Yeast, filamentous fungi, and bacteria are all at play and today we have a chocolate scientist and PhD candidate, Caitlin Clark, who has dedicated her research to chocolate fermentation. Topics Covered Lactic acid fermentation versus chocolates specialty...
Published 07/13/21
Over one million specimens of fungi share a space known as the Fungarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is the largest collection of dried fungi in the world with specimens as old as the 1700s. Today we welcome lead mycologist Tuula Niskanen, and Fungarium curator Lee Davies to spotlight this important collection. We discuss when, where, why, and how fungi from all over the world are collected, studied and preserved.  Topics Covered: How the Kew Fungarium is curated and maintained The...
Published 07/07/21
Today’s show covers a field known as mycovirology, or the study of viruses that infect fungi. This esoteric science is nascent but profound in its applications, and we are welcoming one of the few people in the world who are studying these relationships. Why do mycoviruses matter? How can we work with and against them? How can this subfield influence mycology as a whole? We welcome Dr. Brenda Wingfield from the university of Pretoria in South Africa. Brenda holds her degree in fungal genomics...
Published 06/29/21
Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Josh Bartch, the CEO of Mydecine, a research & development company with a special interest in psilocybin and psychoactive treatments. We discuss the origins of their work, their team, and current research and practices in the field. Topics covered: Mydecine's mission and commitment to human benefit via fungal discoveryPsilocybin treatment for PTSD and other mental health concernsMachine-learning based drug discoveryFormulation and...
Published 06/23/21
Zombie fungi aren't just cool — they're extremely useful. Dr. Brian Lovett is back on the show to discuss the powers of entomopathogenic fungi. We get into the weeds of what makes these fungi equip for success as carnivores, transgenic engineering, the evolution of pathology and more. Brian also shares cutting edge research from the MosquitoSphere in Burkina Faso, where he and his team work to combat malaria using Metarhizium fungi. Topics Covered: Defining entomopathogenic fungiChemical...
Published 06/15/21
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is one of fungi’s most well known chemical analogues. Today we bring you a leading scientist, Dr. David Nichols who speaks to the history, chemistry, legality and so much more of this notable compound.   Topics covered: David Nichol’s career pursuing psychedelic pharmacologyPatent litigation, especially with psychedelic constituents Lab testing for new psychedelic analogues in ratsBureaucracy of working with Schedule I substancesHow to synthesize LSDLSD’s...
Published 06/09/21
Ergot describes a group of fungi with powerful alkaloids. So powerful, that they have historical impact in history, medicine, and possibly religion. It's famous for the morbid poisoning in humans, for catalyzing the synthesis of LSD,  and its potential role in ancient ceremony. Today we are honored to speak with Dr. Daniel Panaccione, who is one of few ergot alkaloid specialists. Having studied their biosynthesis and genetics, he is a true expert on their chemical matters. Dr. Panaccione is...
Published 05/31/21
To celebrate our 100th episode, we kick off the show with a compilation of all the responses to our classic question "If mushrooms had the mic and could say one thing to the whole human race, what would they say?" We also have some updates for you all, including a message of gratitude for making the podcast possible. Enjoy the condensed fungal wisdom and some candid conversation between your co-hosts Alex Dorr and Lera Niemackl. Featuring: Nathalie Kelley Myron Smith Omar Thomas Sophia...
Published 05/26/21
We are humbled to be speaking with psychedelic pioneer, Dennis McKenna. Dennis and his late brother Terrence are some of the most influential figures in western psychedelic culture. The brothers contributed to the introduction to psilocybin mushrooms in the United States, including but not limited to, cultivation techniques, ethnomycology, user guidance, and providing spores. Dennis was active in the psychedelic movement in the 60s and continues to shape the 21st century renaissance through...
Published 05/18/21
A milestone for mycelium has emerged. Adidas has partnered with Bolt threads, a biomaterials company, to use mycelium in their Stan Smith Mylo Edition shoes.  Built with biology, crafted with humanity— Bolt Threads is pioneering the use of fungal materials into industrial commodities, and it's not something their team takes lightly. Today we are joined by the co-founder of Bolt Threads, Dr. David Breslauer, to discuss the philosophy and methodology behind their important contributions and...
Published 05/12/21
What does commercial mushroom farming look like in the United States? Today we welcome the production manager of Far West Fungi, Kyle Garrone, to share the history of commercial farming in the US. Far West Fungi has been in business for over 35 years, and the team has traveled far and wide to learn from mushroom farms around the globe. Kyle has designed systems for large scale cultivation in California for common culinary mushrooms like oysters, shiitake, lion’s mane, woodear, pioppini,...
Published 05/04/21
If you aren't convinced that fungi are omnipresent, bizarre, and mighty, you haven't read Fungipedia.
Published 04/28/21
Brood X isn't alone. Many individuals will be infected with a mind-altering, butt-eating fungus, Massospora cicadina. And today, we give you the dirty details.
Published 04/20/21
The famous John Cage loved mushrooms. We cover the impact of mushrooms on his craft, life, and philosophy.
Published 04/14/21
What makes the Fly Agaric the most iconic mushroom in the world? And why, despite its prominence, is it so poorly understood? Today on the show we are starting from the ground up to demystify the reputations of this mushroom with cultural...
Published 04/05/21
Psilocybin has revolutionized Johanna's health and creativity as an artist, and she joins us to share some her deepest moments.
Published 03/30/21
A Doctor has filed a lawsuit against the DEA for denying the use psilocybin therapy in his palliative care.
Published 03/24/21
Should knowledge be free? It is, after all, a human right to benefit from scientific advancement. And that's what inspired Sci-Hub, a platform built to breakdown the barriers between you and science.
Published 03/16/21
Mushrooms, molds, magic. Chef and activist Sophia Roe explains why mushrooms are her muse in the kitchen and beyond.
Published 03/10/21
Beatrix Potter was a scientist. Tune in to learn about how significant her contributions were to mycology, and her experience as a woman in science.
Published 03/02/21
The biggest organism on Earth is a fungus. We talk about how that's possible.
Published 02/23/21
Marine fungi exist. And we know almost nothing about them. These elusive water dwelling fungi offer valuable insight to evolution, phylogenetics, ecological health, drug discovery, remediation and more.
Published 02/11/21
Today’s guest is the co-founder of Smallhold, Andrew Carter. Smallhold is a multi-operational mushroom farm implementing innovative logistics and technology to grow mushrooms everywhere. Hailing from Brooklyn and quickly expanding, Smallhold builds futuristic ‘minifarms’ that can be installed almost anywhere, empowering communities and businesses with a supply of local, quality mushrooms.
Published 02/08/21
A conversation about being Black in American psychedelic culture with Robin Divine.
Published 02/02/21