"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Fungus zombies in 'The Last of Us' are unreal, but real fungus can infect people, they usually're becoming more resistant.

Many persons are watching. Possibly for zombies.

I like zombies too, but I'm really into fungi.

I even have been studying fungi since my PhD work within the Eighties, and I grow to be more fascinated with these amazing organisms with each passing 12 months.

In the HBO series and The video game that inspired it.A parasitic fungus – a hypothetical mutation of The very real cordyceps – Leaps from insects to humans and spreads rapidly across the globe, leaving victims powerless to manage their thoughts and actions. Distant fungal scaremongering? It's definitely fantasy, but perhaps not as ridiculous because it sounds.

Interesting fungi

from microscopic mold spores Kilometer long mycelium Beneath the forest floor, the members of this distinct biological kingdom—neither plants nor animals—are incredible, and worthy of more attention.

An ant infected with the parasitic Cordyceps fungus.

Most of us can't consider them beyond the mushroom slices on our pizza, however the cookie figures prominently in our every day lives. do you eat bread Thanks The fungus we call yeast.. Do you enjoy beer, wine or whiskey? Raise a glass to yourself Fungal friends responsible for fermentation That makes them come alive.

Whenever a round of antibiotics helps you get well from an infection, remember A mold gave us the compounds that became penicillin. and its many derivatives.

Fungi are incredible chemists. They make many compounds that humans cannot easily replicate within the lab. Some make compounds that may affect behavior.

take a look at Lysergic acid diethylamideCommonly generally known as LSD or “acid”. Its well-known psychedelic effects come from the hull of the grain. Similarly, “magic” mushrooms are the source Psilocybe. Both LSD and magic mushrooms are illegal recreational drugs but are also being studied for his or her therapeutic value.

Fungal infections

Blooms like pink flowers on transparent stems.
Microscopic image of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus.

Fungi even have an aggressive side. In addition to breaking down dead plants and animals, some forms attack living things, including humans. The entire pharmacy shelf is stocked with remedies Player's feet, Yeast infections And jock itch, all of them nasty fungal infections. even Dandruff is caused by fungus..

Yet while now we have access to an array of medication to treat bacterial infections similar to pneumonia and strep throat, there are only Four known compounds Available to rid yourself of fungal infections. There are three different over-the-counter powders, sprays, and ointments that we use to treat common fungal infections.

A fourth and newest class, the echinocandins, is reserved for hospital settings, where the results of fungal infections might be fatal.

My team's research lab McMaster is an element of a wider university. Global Alliance for Epidemiology and Biohazardsand likewise works with the international research organization CIFAR's. The Fungal Kingdom: Threats and Opportunities Program

We are working to seek out ways to limit the potential harm to humans from fungal infections. We also seek to grasp how we are able to harness the abundant and still underutilized potential of penicillin and its derivatives to develop recent antibiotics before they lose their diminishing potency.

Fungi adapt and evolve.

Blue organisms growing from translucent stalks
Microscopic image of the fungal organism, Epidermophyton flucosum, which causes infections similar to athlete's foot and jock itch.
(CDC/Libero Ajello)

I used to be first drawn to fungal research almost 35 years ago as a student starting my PhD studies. by that point, HIV/AIDS was still emerging.shutting down the immune systems of otherwise healthy people, leaving them vulnerable to opportunistic infections, including fungal infections.

I wanted to grasp more about how cookies work.

Like bacteria and viruses, fungi are all the time evolving and adapting. Finding ways to survive under adverse conditions. We're seeing many types of fungi which are adapting to ever-higher temperatures, including body temperature, which has long been the primary line of defense for humans.

We are also seeing increasing antimicrobial resistance amongst some causes of fungal infections, similar to yeast White ears And like molds Aspergilluseach of which may cause hospital-acquired infections.

The possibility of a fungal epidemic

In the HBO Max drama 'The Last of U,' a fungal infection turns its victims into zombies spawning from the fungus.

While this can be a harshly dramatic projection of what could occur in a deadly fungal outbreak, it's at the very least based, if not in reality, in logic.

Fungi are capable of influence perception and behavior through chemistry. Are they getting close? You bet. Do they make zombies? Not that we all know, however the thought is deeply amusing, and it keeps me watching.

The show does an incredible service by reminding us that we want to adapt to remain ahead of the opportunity of a fungal pandemic.

In the identical way that the film once inspired a generation of journalists, and later attracted many eager students to law school, I hope it is going to spark renewed interest within the study of fungi.

The more we are able to give attention to unlocking the true magic in mushrooms, the higher off we'll all be.