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70 Totally Amazing Common Names for Fungi

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Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides—in case you didn’t know—is a species of fungus, and while its scientific name is certainly elegant, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. As such, it has a recommended common name: Snaketongue Truffleclub.

The British Mycological Society has an enormous list of fungi species with their scientific and common English names. It’s a lexical journey that does not disappoint, and seriously, if someone doesn’t feel compelled to pursue mycology and/or get a killer band name out of this, we’ll be very disappointed.

1. Pavement Mushroom // Agaricus bitorquis

2. Bearded Fieldcap // Agrocybe molesta

3. Pink Disco // Aleurodiscus wakefieldiae

4. Snakeskin Grisette // Amanita ceciliae

5. False Deathcap // Amanita citrina

6. Destroying Angel // Amanita virosa

7. Upper Crust // Amaurodon cyaneus

8. Club Foot // Ampulloclitocybe clavipes

9. Hair Sedge Smut // Anthracoidea capillaris

Bulbous Honey Fungus.Tom Jutte via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

10. Bulbous Honey Fungus // Armillaria gallica

11. Purple Jellydisc // Ascocoryne sarcoides

12. Powdery Piggyback // Asterophora lycoperdoides

13. Barometer Earthstar // Astraeus hygrometricus

14. Drab Tooth // Bankera fuligineoalba

15. Lemon Disco // Bisporella citrina

16. The Pretender // Boletus pseudoregius

17. The Humpback // Cantharellula umbonata

18. Dewdrop Dapperling // Chamaemyces fracidus

19. Gassy Webcap // Cortinarius traganus

20. Golden Navel // Chrysomphalina chrysophylla

21. Devil's Fingers // Clathrus archeri

22. Skinny Club // Clavaria incarnata

23. Mealy Frosted Funnel // Clitocybe ditopa

24. Lentil Shanklet // Collybia tuberosa

25. Tiger's Eye // Coltricia perennis

26. Wet Rot // Coniophora puteana

27. Distinguished Inkcap // Coprinus alopecius

28. Drumstick Truffleclub // Cordyceps capitata

29. Bug Sputnik // Cordyceps clavulata

Turquoise Elfcup. Lynette via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

30. Turquoise Elfcup // Chlorociboria aeruginosa

31. Hairy Parachute // Crinipellis scabella

32. Common Bird's Nest // Crucibulum laeve

33. Cinnamon Jellybaby // Cudonia confusa

34. Weeping Toothcrust // Dacryobolus sudans

35. King Alfred's Cakes / Cramp Balls // Daldinia concentrica

36. Dark Crazed Cap // Dermoloma pseudocuneifolium

37. Snaketongue Truffleclub // Elaphocordyceps ophioglossoides

38. Witches' Butter // Exidia glandulosa

39. Elbowpatch Crust // Fomitiporia punctata

40. Funeral Bell // Galerina marginata

41. Cabbage Parachute // Gymnopus brassicolens

42. Bitter Poisonpie // Hebeloma sinapizans

43. Twisted Deceiver // Laccaria tortilis

44. Whiskery Milkcap // Lactarius mairei

45. Chicken of the Woods // Laetiporus sulphureus

46. Hairy Nuts Disco // Lanzia echinophila

47. Cat Dapperling // Lepiota felina

48. Dog's Mercury Rust // Melampsora populnea

49. Goblet Parachute // Marasmiellus vaillantii

50. Bald Knight // Melanoleuca melaleuca

51. Bedstraw Smut // Melanotaenium endogenum

52. Cryptic Bonnet // Mycena picta

53. Vampires Bane // Mycetinis scorodonius

54. Mint Mildew // Neoerysiphe galeopsidis

55. Hotlips // Octospora humosa

Jack O Lantern. Liz West via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

56. Jack O Lantern // Omphalotus illudens

57. Mealy Oyster // Ossicaulis lignatilis

58. Midnight Disco // Pachyella violaceonigra

59. Pancake Crust // Perenniporia medulla-panis

60. Bonfire Cauliflower // Peziza proteana f. sparassoides

61. Lion Shield // Pluteus leoninus

62. Moon Carrot Rust // Puccinia libanotidis

63. The Flirt // Russula vesca

64. Potato Earthball // Scleroderma bovista

65. Contorted Strangler // Squamanita contortipes

66. Hairy Earthtongue // Trichoglossum hirsutump

67. Plums and Custard // Tricholomopsis rutilans

68. Scurfy Twiglet // Tubaria furfuracea

69. Fingered Candlesnuff // Xylaria digitata

70. Dead Moll's Fingers // Xylaria longipes

[h/t @pourmecoffee]

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Animals
Scientists Improve Drug Safety—for Penguins
Paul Mannix, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Paul Mannix, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Penguins are adorable. Their infections are a lot less cute. Fortunately, scientists may have figured out how to safely knock out at least one deadly fungal disease. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Fungi in the genus Aspergillus have all kinds of strange talents. They turn up in the pantry as black mold—and in the refrigerator, as key ingredients in soy sauce and lemon-flavored drinks. Some enzymes derived from these fungi can help people with celiac disease digest gluten. But others can also make people and other animals, including penguins, very, very sick. Avian aspergillosis can lead to chronic and acute respiratory infections. The disease strikes wild and captive birds all over the world, but is especially common among African penguins in zoos, refuges, research centers, and aquaria. For a while, those penguins were treated with a medication called vitraconazole. Then the fungus evolved a resistance. There's another option: a second drug called voriconazole, which has been used successfully to cure aspergillosis in other birds. But penguins aren't other birds. They've got their own peculiar bodies and metabolisms. A dose that's good for the goose may be too much for the penguin. To determine how much voriconazole a penguin should take, researchers enlisted 18 penguins at a New Jersey aquarium in two separate trials. They tried the birds on various dosing schedules and quantities, then tested their blood plasma to see how their bodies absorbed the drug. The scientists then took all that information and fed it into a computer model, which allowed them to calculate how quickly and efficiently the average African penguin could metabolize the medication. They arrived at a concentration of 5 milligrams per kilogram of penguin body weight, once a day. Lead author Katharine Stott is an expert in translational medicine at the University of Liverpool. "Although this project was a somewhat unusual one for our group," she said in a statement, "the problem it presents is common: how can we better understand dosing strategies to optimize the use of antimicrobial agents?" Stott noted that her group's methods could carry over into other small patients as well: "The project also dealt with an issue commonly faced when trying to design pediatric treatment regimens in that dosing requirements are not always proportionally related to patient size."
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technology
Don’t Rely on an App to Identify Which Mushrooms You Can Eat
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Mushroom hunting is a dangerous sport. The differences between deadly and delicious mushrooms can be subtle and hard to spot, and it's not a verdict that should be left up to guessing. Earlier this year, 14 people in Northern California became sick after eating foraged "death cap" mushrooms, and three had to have liver transplants.

An app called Mushroom claims to be able to identify whether a mushroom is safe or toxic through artificial intelligence. However, as The Verge reports, experts say an app isn't a foolproof way to identify mushrooms, and users could be putting themselves in danger by relying on it.

Some mushrooms need to be touched and smelled to identify whether they are a truly safe-to-eat species or if they're a similar-looking toxic variety, a mushroom expert told The Verge. And artificial intelligence working solely off images won't be able to tell the difference. As one environmental scientist put it on Twitter, the app's shortcomings could have deadly results.

In response to the uproar, the app seems to have been edited to focus just on the lucrative practice of truffle-hunting. The new app's description is a confusing liability warning: "The app is intended for the general interest truffle hunter as a reference guide who is [sic] looking to hunt and sell truffles locally. The app is not intended for use when foraging for wild food and we strongly recommend you do not handle or consume wild mushrooms." In other words, use it as a reference guide if you want to sell truffles, but don’t eat them. While truffles aren't toxic, there are species of "false truffles" that are poisonous, so probably don't rely solely on artificial intelligence for those, either.

There are several other mushroom-hunting guide apps, but they mostly regurgitate information that you would find in books on the subject. Getting an illustrated guidebook is most experts' recommended method for safely foraging for mushrooms. So please, if you want to become a mushroom hunter, ditch the apps, hire a guide, take a class, or, at the very least, buy a good book. Don't simply trust the 'bots.

[h/t The Verge]

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