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Invisibleveggie

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Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies'
    #27091232 - 12/15/20 11:24 PM (1 month, 2 days ago)

Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies'
The Guardian  15 Dec 2020

Insect-destroying fungi ‘may represent the next frontier for drug discovery’
Two new fungi species that infect flies and eject spores out of a large hole in the insect’s abdomen “like small rockets” have been discovered in Denmark.

The new species, Strongwellsea tigrinae and Strongwellsea acerosa, are host-specific and rely on two species of Danish fly – Coenosia tigrina and Coenosia testacea, according to researchers at the University of Copenhagen.

While most fungi spore once the host is dead, with strongwellsea, the host continues to live for days, carrying out normal activities and socialising with other flies while the fungus consumes its genitals, fat reserves, reproductive organs and finally its muscle, all the while shooting out thousands of spores on to other individuals.

After a few days, the fly lies on its back, spasms for a few hours and then dies, according to research by the University of Copenhagen and the Natural History Museum of Denmark published in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.

The unusual tactic of keeping the host alive while releasing spores is called active host transmission (AHT). It is an effective way of getting access to other healthy individuals. Scientists think the fungi could be producing substances that “dope” their hosts (sometimes colloquially referred to as “zombies”), meaning they can stay fresh enough to live for days after infection – only collapsing once there is nothing left in their abdomens but the fungus.

“We suspect therefore that these fungi may produce amphetamine-like substances which keep a fly’s energy levels high up until the end,” said lead researcher Prof Jørgen Eilenberg from the department of plant and environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Researchers also believe the fungi produce substances that keep microorganisms away from the fly fungal wound and keep it clean, but they are yet to test this.

“They work like small rockets,” said Eilenberg. “They are almost shaped like torpedoes and are designed for going fast.” If they land on another fly they stick to the cuticle and then wiggle their way into the abdomen, where they start to proliferate. Thousands of spores will be released out from a single fly.

The parasites probably only infect a small percentage of individuals – between 3 and 5% in a healthy fly population. Because the host continues to behave normally it is difficult to identify when it has been infected, which is why AHT is relatively under-researched. It has only been discovered in two complete genera – strongwellsea and a similar fungal genus called massospora, which uses cicadas in a similar way.

Strongwellsea tigrinae was discovered by Eilenberg in 1993 in North Zealand in eastern Denmark. Strongwellsea acerosa was first seen in a residential area in greater Copenhagen by one of his students, Dorthe Britt Tiwald, in 1998. Both have only now been officially declared new species. There are now a total of five known species of strongwellsea.

Dr Matthew Kasson, an associate professor of forest pathology and mycology at West Virginia University, who was not involved in this latest research, agrees strongwellsea may be producing the same “dope” compound as massospora, which he has researched. “It’s unclear how many species we have but I really think we’ve just scratched the surface,” he says.

“The reason this discovery is important is because we can’t make broad, sweeping conclusions about host manipulation and behavioural modification based on a single genus. Having a second genus like strongwellsea, which induces the same behavioural response, is important in solving this bigger puzzle of active host transmission … Collectively, this group of insect-destroying fungi may represent the next frontier for drug discovery.”


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: veggie]
    #27091581 - 12/16/20 07:13 AM (1 month, 1 day ago)

That is some cold blooded fungi.


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Invisibleopenmind
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: veggie] * 1
    #27092074 - 12/16/20 02:12 PM (1 month, 1 day ago)

Veggie is back!?...First post in over 8 years. Doesn't feel like it's been that long.

I remember you regularly posting things in the shroomery news forum.




In regards to the fungal infected zombi-flies...So gnarly!


Quote:

......Scientists think the fungi could be producing substances that “dope” their hosts (sometimes colloquially referred to as “zombies”), meaning they can stay fresh enough to live for days after infection – only collapsing once there is nothing left in their abdomens but the fungus.

“We suspect therefore that these fungi may produce amphetamine-like substances which keep a fly’s energy levels high up until the end”.....





This is all very similar to the fungus Massospora cicadina, which infects cicadas and involves similar actions/symptoms brought on by the fungus. In the case of Massospora cicadina, the "amp-like" substance it produces inside the insect is actually cathinone and it also produces psilocybin.


Quote:

.....A fungus called Massospora cicadina attacks a cicada, destroys much of its abdomen, and releases the mind-altering drug psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic in mushrooms, and cathinone, an amphetamine. This allows the infected insect to continue to fly around as if a third of its body isn’t missing, researchers report this month on the bioRxiv preprint server. Infected cicadas are hyperactive, spend less time eating, and the males are hypersexual—all of which may help the fungus spread to other victims.....








I imagine there are a handful of other yet to be discovered fungi species out there that are similar to these fungi that infect insects in such a way.






-OM

.


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OfflineCamwritesgonzo
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: openmind]
    #27092426 - 12/16/20 05:42 PM (1 month, 1 day ago)

Quote:

openmind said:
In the case of Massospora cicadina, the "amp-like" substance it produces inside the insect is actually cathinone and it also produces psilocybin.




That sounds pretty fucking sweet, I love uppers and tryptamines. When I was doing a lot of speed, I used to drop acid once-twice a week.


--------------------
"I've always maintained that reality is for those who can't face drugs."-Tom Waits
"I feel the same way about disco as I feel about herpes."-Hunter S. Thompson
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Camwritesgonzo]
    #27097760 - 12/19/20 03:15 PM (29 days, 11 hours ago)

Quote:

The Guardian said:
......Scientists think the fungi could be producing substances that “dope” their hosts (sometimes colloquially referred to as “zombies”), meaning they can stay fresh enough to live for days after infection – only collapsing once there is nothing left in their abdomens but the fungus.

“We suspect therefore that these fungi may produce amphetamine-like substances which keep a fly’s energy levels high up until the end”.....



Quote:

openmind said:
In the case of Massospora cicadina, the "amp-like" substance it produces inside the insect is actually cathinone and it also produces psilocybin.




On one hand, I realize that the bugs' digestion is supposed to be alkaline.

On the other hand, I toy with the notion, of what would happen to a human who ate the same amount.


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InvisibleHolybullshit
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: durian_2008]
    #27098908 - 12/20/20 10:11 AM (28 days, 16 hours ago)

You could try plugging the fungi, or in an enteric formulation that would protect it until it reached the duodenum, not that I think it would work.

But, I think having a fungi in your intestine producing psychs and speed 24/7 in ever increasing amounts would drive you insane before long.


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27099103 - 12/20/20 12:36 PM (28 days, 13 hours ago)

Spores would be spread all over the place.


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OfflineCamwritesgonzo
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Holybullshit]
    #27101022 - 12/21/20 04:32 PM (27 days, 10 hours ago)

Quote:

Holybullshit said:
You could try plugging the fungi, or in an enteric formulation that would protect it until it reached the duodenum, not that I think it would work.



Where's Modder?


--------------------
"I've always maintained that reality is for those who can't face drugs."-Tom Waits
"I feel the same way about disco as I feel about herpes."-Hunter S. Thompson
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Camwritesgonzo]
    #27104294 - 12/23/20 04:06 PM (25 days, 10 hours ago)

Our gut flora are supposed to impact our state of mind. The immune-suppressed and physically damaged are supposed to be prone to overgrowth, particularly, due to diet -- even until the outer surface is compromised by hyphae.

All I am saying is, there is a giant trade in these mushrooms, growing out of the bug's head. You are consuming these same spores, but no one imagines himself in the place of the bug.

Also, this one...
Quote:

In the case of Massospora cicadina, the "amp-like" substance it produces inside the insect is actually cathinone and it also produces psilocybin.




Makes me wonder whether natural complexes of common street drugs are found in adaptogens.

Many times, random substances are tested for tryptamines or alkaloids, and we assume they are giving a false positive.


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OfflineCamwritesgonzo
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: durian_2008]
    #27104322 - 12/23/20 04:26 PM (25 days, 10 hours ago)

That brings to mind the use of yeast in production of a precursor to the production ephedrine. It seems like some species from the fungi kingdom are very well suited to produce different psychoactive chemicals or chemical precursors fairly readily. There was an article a few years back that made mention of the potential possibility of using yeast to ferment opioid compounds. I know there was also a shroomer who posted about making a beer that, through the brewing process used, became infused with GHB.


--------------------
"I've always maintained that reality is for those who can't face drugs."-Tom Waits
"I feel the same way about disco as I feel about herpes."-Hunter S. Thompson
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?


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OfflinePliny_the_Elder
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Camwritesgonzo]
    #27113530 - 12/29/20 07:55 AM (19 days, 18 hours ago)

"the fungus consumes its genitals, fat reserves, reproductive organs and finally its muscle, all the while shooting out thousands of spores on to other individuals."

It's not good they list genitals first. I would not advise consuming this.


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OfflineCamwritesgonzo
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Re: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into 'zombies' [Re: Pliny_the_Elder]
    #27114014 - 12/29/20 01:17 PM (19 days, 13 hours ago)

Quote:

Pliny_the_Elder said:
It's not good they list genitals first. I would not advise consuming this.



What if you've got a really severe dose of the clap, like even soaking your wenis in hot water doesn't do the trick?


--------------------
"I've always maintained that reality is for those who can't face drugs."-Tom Waits
"I feel the same way about disco as I feel about herpes."-Hunter S. Thompson
A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?


Post Extras: Filter  Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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