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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Mushrooms May Hold Key To Smallpox
    #4327174 - 06/23/05 02:24 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Researchers Hope Mushrooms Hold Key To Smallpox
June 22, 2005 - ksdk.com

The next weapon against a bioterrorism attack may come from something we toss into a salad.

Scientists are testing thousands of mushrooms in search of potential treatments for smallpox.

The fungi we love to eat may be the next breakthrough medicine.

Could a slice of mushroom pizza offer protection from a smallpox outbreak? That may be a bit of a stretch, but the yummy fungi is under study - and not in the kitchen.

"Our main goal is to see if a crude extract of the mushroom can affect a virus." Research Triangle Institute's Dr. Nick Oberlies specializes in natural products research, the cancer fighting drug taxol was discovered from a tree in their lab, now scientists have moved onto mushrooms.

Dr. Oberlies explains, "Mushrooms synthesize some sort of compound that allow them to fight off other things invading for its space. We're trying to unlock those and use them for some sort of human use."

The scientists have been foraging through the fungi for possible cancer treatments, and recently received a government grant, along with two other labs, to search for smallpox remedies.

Dr. Oberlies says over the next five years, researchers will analyze more than 16,000 mushroom samples collected around the country in hopes of finding at least a handful that hold antiviral potential, "We still think nature has secrets."

Secrets that could one day help save lives.

If scientists do find a potential smallpox remedy among the fungi, it will be an American mushroom because all of the mushrooms in the study are from North America. Right now there is no effective treatment for smallpox.

While the mushroom investigation may seem like strange science, researchers estimate that 25 percent of all drugs have been discovered from natural sources, including more than 60 percent of all anti-cancer therapies.

The research, funded by a $5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seeks to develop potent antiviral therapeutics that could be easily administered to exposed individuals to curtail or eliminate the disease.

Research Triangle Institute is collaborating with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and LifePharms, Inc., to evaluate more than 16,000 mushroom samples (basidiomycetes and ascomycetes) collected throughout the United States to identify those with antiviral potential.

RTI researchers have been studying mushrooms as a source for anticancer agents for more than four years.

No live smallpox vaccines are used during the research.


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InvisibleJoshua
Holoman
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Registered: 10/27/98
Posts: 5,389
Loc: The Matrix
Re: Mushrooms May Hold Key To Smallpox [Re: veggie]
    #4328382 - 06/23/05 01:56 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I believe Stamets is actively involved in this project or at least something very similar.

Joshua


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InvisibleGGreatOne234
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Registered: 12/24/99
Posts: 8,946
Re: Mushrooms May Hold Key To Smallpox [Re: veggie]
    #4328752 - 06/23/05 03:40 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

interesting.


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OfflinemotamanM
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Registered: 12/18/02
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Re: Mushrooms May Hold Key To Smallpox [Re: Joshua]
    #4494276 - 08/04/05 11:18 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4783951


Morning Edition, August 4, 2005 ? A rare mushroom that grows in the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest may offer protection from smallpox -- an infectious disease that security experts feel may be a biological weapon of choice for terrorists who wish to attack America.



Paul Stamets with mushrooms he's growing at his Mason County, Wash., compound.


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InvisibleLeftyBurnz
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Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 24,543
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Re: Mushrooms May Hold Key To Smallpox [Re: motaman]
    #4497206 - 08/05/05 12:10 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

besides cluster headaches is there any other research going on with psilocybian mushrooms related to health? just curious.


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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government." 
~Thomas Jefferson

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
~George Washington


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