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Current Fungus News and Events, Fungus News Articles.
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Genetic analysis finds greater threat in frog-killing fungus
A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers suggests that a frog-killing fungus may be harder to fight because of the pathogen's ability to spread over long distances and possibly persist in the environment as a consequence of sexual reproduction. The fungus has already decimated populations of mountain yellow-legged frogs in the Sierra Nevada. (2007-08-06)

UF to lead research on life-threatening fungus
Hear the word fungus, and mushrooms and mold might leap to mind. But the University of Florida is about to house the nation's first research repository for one species that has nothing to do with pizza toppings or marbling blue cheese: Aspergillus, which increasingly poses a major health threat to cancer patients and transplant recipients. The National Institutes of Health has awarded $9 million over the next seven years to the effort. (2007-07-31)

Prion propagates in foreign host
Using baker's yeast and another fungus, a research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Bordeaux report the first successful propagation of a prion from one organism to another. (2007-07-05)

Potato wart eyed as risk to potato production
While many may be familiar with potato late blight, the plant disease responsible for widespread potato shortages, the lesser known potato wart has the potential to be as devastating to economies that depend on potato production, say plant pathologists with the American Phytopathological Society. (2007-06-18)

Banding together: RAS signaling of circadian output
In the June 15 issue of G&D, Drs. Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros, with colleagues at Dartmouth Medical School, have finally cloned the band gene, and have found that it is an allele of ras-1. This finding posits RAS signaling as a key mediator of circadian output. (2007-06-14)

Bacteria show promise in fending off global amphibian killer
First in a petri dish and now on live salamanders, probiotic bacteria seem to repel a deadly fungus being blamed for worldwide amphibian deaths and even extinctions. Though the research is in its early stages, scientists are encouraged by results that could lead the way to helping threatened species like mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern California. (2007-05-23)

Jet lag: It's all about chemical reactions in cells
New research by Cornell and Dartmouth researchers explains the biological mechanism behind how circadian clocks sense light through a process that transfers energy from light to chemical reactions in cells. (2007-05-22)

Prehistoric mystery organism verified as giant fungus
Scientists at the University of Chicago and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., have produced new evidence to finally resolve the mysterious identity of what they regard as one of the weirdest organisms that ever lived. (2007-04-23)

Gene that governs toxin production in deadly mold found
For the growing number of people with diminished immune systems -- cancer patients, transplant recipients, those with HIV/AIDS -- infection by a ubiquitous mold known as Aspergillus fumigatus can be a death sentence. (2007-04-12)

MacroChem completes patient enrollment for Phase II trial of EcoNail for treatment of onychomycosis
MacroChem Corporation announced the completion of patient enrollment in a 40 patient US multi-center open label Phase II efficacy study of EcoNail, a topical anti-fungal lacquer for the treatment of onychomycosis (nail fungus). (2007-04-11)

Better together: Bacterial endosymbionts are essential for the reproduction of a fungus
Endosymbiotic relationships -- in which one organism lives within another -- are striking examples of mutualism, and can often significantly shape the biology of the participant species. In new findings that highlight the extent to which a host organism can become dependent on its internal symbiont, researchers have identified a case in which the reproduction of a fungus has become dependent on bacteria that live within its cytoplasm. (2007-04-05)

Super-fermenting fungus genome sequenced
On the road to making biofuels more economically competitive with fossil fuels, there are significant potholes to negotiate. For cellulosic ethanol production, one major detour has being addressed with the characterization of the genetic blueprint of the fungus Pichia stipitis, by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and collaborators at the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. The research is featured in the March 4 advanced online publication of Nature Biotechnology. (2007-03-04)

Stopping plants from getting sick
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grantee James Kronstad grew up on Oregon wheat farms and witnessed first-hand the damage that fungi can do to crops. Since then, he has spent his life looking for the (2007-02-16)

New recommendations against a major opportunistic infection -- cryptococcosis
CRNS and the Institut Pasteur conducted research in France on patients diagnosed with cryptococcosis which ranks second among fatal opportunistic infections in patients infected by HIV and who are profoundly immunosuppressed. (2007-02-08)

Fungal factories may save hemlock forests
From Georgia to Maine, eastern hemlock trees are succumbing to an exotic pest, hemlock woolly adelgid. The adelgid has no natural predators in North America, but some native fungi kill it. A University of Vermont team has invented a cheap and ecologically-friendly method of spreading these fungi into forests for long-term control of adelgid. Their (2007-01-25)

Dangerous wheat disease jumps Red Sea
A new form of stem rust, a virulent wheat disease, has jumped from eastern Africa and is now infecting wheat in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula. (2007-01-16)

Tearing down the fungal cell wall
Scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Duke University Medical Center have pinpointed a fungal gene that appears to play an important role in the development and virulence of Alternaria brassicicola, a destructive fungal pathogen that results in considerable leaf loss in many economically important crops worldwide, including canola, cabbage and broccoli. (2006-12-04)

Wielding the subtle weapons of a fungus
An international group of researchers has identified genes which enable the maize smut pathogen to live as a parasite. (2006-11-14)

Developing uses for sugar-cane bagasse: Biotechnology applied to the paper industry
Sugar-cane bagasse is a fibrous waste-product of the sugar refining industry, which can be recycled as a raw material for paper manufacture. IRD researchers have elaborated a new bioprocess that transforms the bagasse into paper pulp and also produces an industrially useful enzyme, laccase. The process is based on the metabolism of a filamentous fungus. Preliminary laboratory trials show that this integrated bioprocess can be adapted to other potential fibre-yielding materials, opening up promising applications for the paper industry. (2006-11-13)

Earliest fungi may have found multiple solutions to propagation on land, new study infers
In the latest installment of a major international effort to probe the origins of species, a team of scientists has reconstructed the early evolution of fungi, the biological kingdom now believed to be animals' closest relatives. (2006-10-18)

Sequencing of the oyster mushroom genome
Professor of Microbiology at the Public University of Navarre, Antonio Gerardo Pisabarro de Lucas, is leading an international project to sequence the genome of the oyster mushroom. (2006-10-04)

Genome info from 'plant destroyers' could save trees, beans and chocolate
An international team of scientists has published the first two genome sequences from a destructive group of plant pathogens called Phytophthora -- a name that literally means (2006-09-01)

New lab technique churns out fungus' potential cancer fighter
For the first time, researchers have developed a way to synthesize a cancer-killing compound called rasfonin in enough quantity to learn how it works. Derived from a fungus discovered clinging to the walls of a New Zealand cave, the chemical tricks certain cancer cells into suicide while leaving healthy cells untouched. (2006-08-24)

DOE JGI sequences, releases genome of symbiotic tree fungus
The DNA sequence of Laccaria bicolor, a fungus that forms a beneficial symbiosis with trees and inhabits one of the most ecologically and commercially important microbial niches in North American and Eurasian forests, has been determined by the U.S. Department of Energy DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI). (2006-07-24)

U of M researchers discover genetic key to treating deadly fungal infections
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered how a prevalent fungal pathogen that causes 10,000 deaths per year in the United States overcomes the effects of antifungal drugs by duplicating a section of one of its chromosomes. Candida albicans, a type of yeast present in 80 percent of humans, is usually harmless. But in people whose immune systems are suppressed it can produce deadly, systemic infections, causing death in 30 to 50 percent of cases. (2006-07-20)

Major initiative proposed to address amphibian crisis
Fifty of the leading amphibian researchers in the world have called for a new Amphibian Survival Alliance, a $400 million initiative to help reduce and prevent amphibian declines and extinctions, an ecological crisis of growing proportion that is continuing to get worse. (2006-07-06)

Symbiotic fungus does not depend on fungus-farming ants for reproduction, researchers say
Fungus-farming ants around the world cultivate essentially the same fungus and are not as critical to the reproduction of the fungi as previously believed, biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. (2006-06-27)

Fruit flies aboard space shuttle subjects of UCF, UC Davis study on immunity and space
Fruit flies that traveled on the shuttle and others kept in a laboratory will be exposed to bacteria and fungi in post-landing tests by UCF and UC Davis researchers. The experiment will help scientists determine how prolonged space flight affects the immune system. NASA's goal is to find out how extended stays in space, such as a trip to Mars, could affect the health of astronauts. (2006-06-27)

Airborne mold spores increase kids' risk for multiple allergies
University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers say exposure to a certain group of fungal spores--abundant in the air that we breathe every day--can make young children more susceptible to developing multiple allergies later in life. The team found that infants who were exposed to basidiospores and other airborne fungal spores--specifically penicillium/aspergillus and alternaria--early in life were more likely to develop allergies to mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and certain foods as they grew older. (2006-06-14)

Reports characterize fungal eye infections among soft contact lens wearers
Fusarium, the fungus implicated in recent eye infections among soft contact lens wearers, is associated with an increasing number of cases of keratitis (corneal swelling and inflammation), according to a report published online today in Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2006-06-12)

Producing bio-ethanol from agricultural waste a step closer
Research conducted by Delft University of Technology has brought the efficient production of the environmentally-friendly fuel bio-ethanol a great deal closer to fruition. The work of Delft researcher Marko Kuyper was an important factor in this. His research in recent years has greatly improved the conversion of certain sugars from agricultural waste to ethanol. On Tuesday 6 June, Kuyper received his PhD degree for his research into the subject. (2006-06-07)

Race to halt global amphibian crisis boosted by rediscovery of endangered Colombian frogs
The rediscovery of two frog species feared extinct has made a new Colombian protected area the focal point for efforts to save amphibians from a deadly fungus decimating their populations in Central and South America. Neither of the rediscovered frog species had the deadly fungal disease chytridiomycosis, raising hopes that the species can be saved in the new protected area or through captive breeding. (2006-06-06)

Colombian frog believed extinct found alive
Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America. The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin. (2006-05-18)

Skin disease common among Hispanic farmworkers in North Carolina, research shows
Wake Forest University School of Medicine studies of Hispanic farmworkers in North Carolina found that more than three out of four workers had skin disease and that workers need more information about how to prevent common skin conditions, as well as potentially deadly diseases such as skin cancer. (2006-04-25)

Yale's Strobel named 'million-dollar professor' for science teaching innovation
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has named Scott Strobel, professor and incoming chair of the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale as one of its new HHMI Professors chosen for their extraordinary teaching, inspiration and mentoring of the next generation of science students. Strobel will receive $1 million over four years from HHMI to implement a program of innovative science teaching ideas as an HHMI Professor. (2006-04-05)

Mutation in a single gene switches a fungus-grass symbiosis from mutualistic to antagonistic
Scientists highlighted a novel role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a symbiotic association between a filamentous fungus (Epichloƫ festucae) and a grass (Lolium perenne). They isolated the fungal gene responsible for the production of ROS and found that disruption of this gene causes the fungus to become pathogenic rather than beneficial. The authors propose that the function of ROS in this association is to control the growth of the fungus within the plant. (2006-03-22)

Scientists a step closer to protecting world's most important crop
Scientists at the University of Exeter have shown for the first time, in a paper in the prestigious journal Nature, how the world's most destructive rice-killer hijacks its plant prey. Researchers from the School of Biosciences have identified a single gene that appears to be vital for the fungus to infect and overwhelm the plant. (2006-03-22)

Sex: It's costly but worth it. Just ask a microbe
Microbes were assumed to be asexual organisms, but a study shows that they also produce offspring when they mate with other microbes. When mating with other microbes, however, a fair bit of flirting and fluffing goes on in their mating ritual, which draws on the microbe's energy reserves, and ultimately affects the quality of their offspring. (2006-02-08)

Outbreak: Rapid appearance of fungus devastates frogs, salamanders in Panama
Something wicked this way comes, if you're a frog or salamander living near El Cope, Panama. (2006-02-06)

New method enables gene disruption in destructive fungal pathogen
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech, Colorado State University, and Duke University Medical Center have developed a new method to determine gene function on a genome-wide scale in the fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola. This destructive fungus causes black spot disease, leading to considerable leaf loss in such economically important crops as canola, cabbage, and broccoli. (2006-02-02)

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