Posted by Echidna (06/29/11 06:50 PM)
I love Paul Stamets. I think he is an incredible scientist and his scientific integrity as well as his inspired and creative personality make him extremely important in the world today. Mycologists are important! As for for Agarikon curing smallpox, I think this is a classic example of sensationalization by the media. Agarikon does, in fact, prevent the growth or a virus related to the smallpox virus, but not smallpox itself. It's like when a microbiologist discovers a species of bacteria with promising medicinal effects, and then the next month there's a headline about how the "new" bacteria will cure cancer. Anyways, Stamets research is important and beneficial, but I think this claim against bioterrorism is just a way (and perhaps a clever tactic) of getting laymen to care about mushrooms and contribute to their research.