How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World – June 9

Quite an ambitious topic, from the next event at the Science Café of Olympia: “Solutions from the Underground: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.”

Earth, our biosphere, is quickly changing. Environmental and human health are inextricably interconnected, and life support systems that have allowed humans to thrive are eroding. Fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer promising practical solutions that capitalize on the mycelium’s diverse properties. Fungi are the grand molecular disassemblers in nature, decomposing plants and animals, and creating soils and the food web of life.

Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti, LLC. in Olympia will discuss the evolution of mushrooms in ecosystems and how fungi can help heal environments. Paul’s work with mycelium shows how these largely untapped organisms can replace chemical insecticides and break down toxic wastes, including petroleum-based products, into nontoxic forms. His recent research also shows that mushrooms have a surprisingly broad range of anti-infective properties that inhibit bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Paul will present six inventions that may help steer ecosystems and humanity toward a healthier future.

7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (in the cookbook alcove)
1530 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia, WA

Coming in July:
New and re-emerging infectious diseases. A presentation by Ted White, Ph.D., University of Washington / Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Science Café of Olympia provides an informal atmosphere where people both with and without scientific background can meet to gain a better understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a brief presentation by an expert in the field, the meeting will be opened to discussions. Science Cafés are found nationwide and are loosely affiliated with the U.K.-based Cafe Scientifique, an international organization promoting public engagement with science. The website is produced by the Science Unit of WGBH in Boston in association with Sigma Xi. Support for Science Café of Olympia is provided in part by the Puget Sound Chapter of The American Chemical Society.

We thank Barnes & Noble for providing an inviting gathering spot and to its staff for their enthusiastic support of Science Café.

Posted in Uncategorized.