Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Disruption Innovation with Fungus: SIx Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World

Mycologist Paul Stamets gives an incredible presentation about the power of fungus. These organisms offer a powerful paradigm to help us understand social structures and social innovation as we build Life 2.0 with enhanced, sustainable ecosystems.

Apart from the metaphors this offers, there's some fabulous technology here. Dr. Stamets has found that insect-eating fungus can be used in a clever way - beginning with a non-sporulating form - to eradicate insects from homes. The fungus in its normal sporulating state repels insects - and they aren't easily harmed. But in the non-sporulating form, insects are attracted, consume it, and are then mummmified and killed by the fungus. It becomes sporulating after eradicating the insects, creating a repellant that keeps new colonies away. There is a major disruptive innovation here relative to traditional pesticides. The amazing pharmaceutical power of some rare fungi also demand further attention. And then there is the bioremediaton power of fungus. One of several great applications. Wow!

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