Paul Stamets: Fungi to the rescue in Japan!

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by sierrapermaculture, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. sierrapermaculture

    sierrapermaculture New Member

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    Paul Stamets: Fungi to the rescue in Japan!




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    Can mushrooms save the world?


    Mycoremediation and fungi specialist Paul Stamets (author of Mycelium Running and Growing Gourmet and Medicinal MushroomsBio ) thinks so. Stamets recently published a novel and sustainable method of dealing with the clean-up of radioactive soils and waste in Japan which was a result of the disasterous 8.9 earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March 2011.


    Through the use of wood waste chipping, tree planting, and the innoculation of wood waste with select species of fungus, Stamets proposes that the radioactive fallout can be effectively remediated in a natural and effective way.


    For more details, please see:
    The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone: Myco-remediation of the Japanese Landscape After Radioactive Fallout
    by Paul Stamets

    Available as PDF at https://sierrapermaculture.com/?p=266
     
  2. Yukkuri_Kame

    Yukkuri_Kame Junior Member

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    VERY happy to see this, as we are very connected to the Japanese situation. I had head Paul mention this possibility in passing quite a while back, and when the meltdown scenario emerged I immediately thought of him.

    The Japanese have a lot of other priorities right now, just getting people shelter & food, making roads passable, etc., never mind getting those reactors chilled out, but I will see what I can do to facilitate this in the longer term through my connections.

    Our good friend & vegetable vendor is an organic farmer on the land his family has farmed for 26 generations, if I remember correctly, up in Fukushima prefecture. So, I wonder how this would work on rice & vegetable fields?
     
  3. PermaGuinea

    PermaGuinea Junior Member

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    This idea has been around for a long time. It was the basis for Hayao Miyazaki's "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ)" in which entire forests of fungus were "cleansing" the world after a nuclear war.;)

    Hope they cap these reactors soon (and wish they would bury nuclear power altogether). My parents-in-law live 85 km from the Fukushima reactors.:(
     
  4. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    Ouch, sor to hear Guinea.
     
  5. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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  6. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    "sequestration" isn't very natural, but neither is plutonium.

    Algae cultivation is under study for uranium/plutonium sequestration and purifying fertilizer runoff.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algaculture
     
  7. Yukkuri_Kame

    Yukkuri_Kame Junior Member

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    Thanks, found Nausicaa here: https://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8704790173215648057#

    My mother-in-law is originally from Fukushima, but now lives in Tokyo, we still have extended family there, though a bit west of the reactors. Many prayers for your family.

    I am doing my best to inoculate my Japanese contacts with Stamet's idea-spores.

    Edit: Funny, never seen a link show up with a smiley in it. :clap:
     
  8. PermaGuinea

    PermaGuinea Junior Member

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    Actually, the movie is very watered-down (though none-the-less enjoyable). Try to get hold of the original 7-volume manga (in Japanese, of course) - there is so much more background in it.

    My wife's parents are in Nasu, in the north of Tochigi Prefecture, but it is actually closer to the reactors than some of the western parts of Fukishima Prefecture, such as Aizuwakamatsu. Our prayers for your extended family and all affected by this unnatural disaster. これ以上悪化しないように祈っております。

    PS: LOL about the smiley in the URL. :)
     
  9. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    This from Chernobyl is also quite cool - roll down to 'Introduction'.

    Life will go on long after we've wrecked the joint.
     
  10. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    The D. radiodurans sequencing project was funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), which is interested in using the microbe in environmental cleanup. DOE is responsible for more than 3,000 radioactive waste sites around the country, some of which are also contaminated with heavy metals, such as mercury, and toxic chemicals, such as solvents.

    The microbial species commonly used in environmental cleanup—a process known as bioremediation—do not survive radiation. To create a 'superbug' that can clean up the environment and endure radiation, Daly and colleagues have inserted genes from other bacteria into D. radiodurans.

    The researchers created a strain of D. radiodurans that can break down toluene, an organic chemical found in radioactive waste sites. Another engineered strain converts mercury, also found at these sites, into a much less toxic form. These genetically engineered strains cannot themselves get rid of radiation, but they may speed the cleanup and save money.

    "The idea is ultimately to introduce these bacteria into contaminated environments," says Daly. He adds that the goal is probably a long way off, given the widely shared concerns about releasing genetically engineered organisms into the world.

    Meanwhile, Daly and other scientists are also pursuing applications of D. radiodurans in a more exotic environment—outer space. The organism could be used in simulations to help scientists predict where to search for life on Mars or elsewhere, or help them understand how to avoid potential 'cross-contamination' between earthly and alien life forms.

    Other potential uses of D. radiodurans in space—such as using the microbe for sewage treatment on long space flights or in environmental engineering to make the Martian surface more suitable for human colonization—remain in the realm of speculation. But who knows? The mere existence of D. radiodurans suggests that almost anything may be possible.
    excerpt
    https://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/07_02/deinococcus.shtml
     
  11. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    Now that the intricacies of D. radiodurans have been covered, one may explore the possibilities for utilizing the microbe's special skills. At the top of the list for uses of D. radiodurans is bioremediation. Bioremediation is the strategy of using bacteria to feed on or simply degrade dangerous compounds. Although simple in theory, scientists have discovered microbes with an ability to metabolize one toxic substance, only to find that other compounds in a waste mix inhibit the bacterium's growth. D. radiodurans may offer a solution by providing the framework to create a versatile and efficient "superbug." The design of the superbug revolves around equipping D. radiodurans with genes imported from other bacterium already known to degrade dangerous compounds. Though organic pollutants such as trichloroethylene and toluene may be metabolized by specific microbes already known, no known bacterium can actually metabolize uranium, plutonium, and other heavy metals into harmless substances. However, some microbes do possess genes encoding proteins that immobilize metals with which they come in contact. By implementing these genes into the superbug, at least the spread of radioactive elements and other metals could be stifled until other cleanup strategies are available. So, although D. radiodurans may not provide a direct solution for waste treatment, it does provide scientists with a potential alternative.

    To conclude, Deinococcus radiodurans is not just another microorganism to be quickly classified and overlooked. Instead, by understanding its phylogenic roots, characteristics, and potentials, one may easily recognize the impact that such a remarkable microbe could have in terms of human significance. Furthermore, a microbe with such tremendous capabilities should only fuel the fire to expand the understanding of all related fields of science.
    excerpt
    https://web.mst.edu/~microbio/BIO221_2000/Deinococcus_radiodurans.html

    The gains made in research of Deinococcus spp. for the purposes of bioremediation of mixed radioactive waste demonstrate that this genus has potential in this field. Unfortunately, several important gaps in this research still remain. Experimentation has not yet been done in situ, that is, known methods of implementing remediation schemes, such as bioreactors or simply inoculating waste sites to measure the efficacy of Deinococcus sp. in the field are lacking. A comparative study between these various methods could not be found in a literature search. The majority of this seems to stem from current regulations regarding GEMs in the field. Further research should be conducted to find ways to contain recombinant strains of Deinococcus and use them in the field more effectively either in situ or ex situ. Finally, design of a completely effective remediation organism is still not complete; more research should be done to elucidate other useful pathways to increase productivity so that this powerful tool can be applied to more diverse settings in the field.
    (conclusion excerpted)
    https://ejournal.vudat.msu.edu/index.php/mmg445/article/viewArticle/371/347

    some algaculture info
    https://www.science24.org/show/Algaculture
     
  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Genetic modification? Are you sure?
     
  13. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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  14. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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  15. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    Yes, the sea water (they consume alot of fish) and their freshwater supply should be a priority, in the worlds largest metropolitan area, the logistics of dealing with this is staggering, but lying to people isn't going to end well. (for the people)....................


    The Health Ministry said that it was unlikely that there would be negative consequences for infants who were given the water, but that it should be avoided if possible and not be used to make infant formula. There was some confusion about the public health advice, with experts saying it should also apply to pregnant women, since they and fetuses were vulnerable.

    “It’s unfortunate, but the radiation is clearly being carried on the air from the Fukushima plant,” Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary, said Wednesday. “Because it’s raining, it’s possible that a lot of places will be affected. Even if people consume the water a few times, there should be no long-term ill effects.”
    excerpt
    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/world/asia/24japan.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
     
  16. PermaGuinea

    PermaGuinea Junior Member

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    Better start breeding some very hardy mushrooms. They have now found puddles of water containing 10 million times the amount normally found in reactor cooling water. The puddles are in the turbine room and parts of the building other than the reactor containment vessels.

    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/genpatsu-fukushima/
     
  17. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    https://www.zamg.ac.at/pict/aktuell/20110325_Reanalyse-I131-Period2.gif

    https://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/03/24/world/asia/24japan-grx/24japan-grx-popup-v3.gif

    The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA has indicated that cesium-137 which falls into a half life of an extended 30 years is the most relevant isotope of concern at the moment, (whereas Plutonium Mox Mixture from the cracked leaking Unit 3 will knock off an entire population) and that the possibility of distribution by sea will travel over a long distance within months to several years before the circulated isotope that was discharged into the seawater makes a landfall on other shores off of the Pacific further implicating the contamination risk for an already troubled Fishing Industry.
    excerpt
    https://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/...north-pacific-ocean-another-dead-zon?blog=172
     
  18. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

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    There goes my interest in sea catch. I'll stick to farm raised and crayfish. Nor will I be swimming in the ocean anymore. Safety first.
     
  19. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    This work grew out of observation that fungi were growing on the walls of Chernobyl reactor and in the ground nearby and all were blackened with melanin. In some areas the ground itsself is turning black with the melanized fungi. Melanin expression is a protective response, it is highly stable and does not readily degrade even in boiling acid. Melanin is utilized by plant pathogens, free living fungi, and pathogenic fungi for a variety of purposes that mainly is thought to be absorbing free radicals and reactive oxygen species to protect the organism from damage. The pathways and importance of melanin has been studied in many fungi including one of my favorites, Cryptococcus neoformans. Much of the pioneering work on melanin has been done in Arturo Casadevall’s lab using C. neoformans. The fungus uses melanin in its capsule to aid in defense from the host immune system as non-melanized mutants are unable to survive as long in a host as the wild-type. When Cryptococcus invades the CSF it can use dopamine to synthesize melanin.
    excerpt
    https://fungalgenomes.org/blog/2007/05/melaninized-fungi-use-ionizing-radiation-for-energy/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiotrophic_fungus
     
  20. chrispoynton

    chrispoynton Junior Member

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    It is humbling to here of members' direct links to Fukushima/Japan and their knowledge of bio-remediation issues listed above.

    I would like to put on the table a method that may assist the bioremediation concepts put forward by Paul Stamets and others. It would be interesting to know of anyone in Japan who may be in a position to "run with" or circulate this concept further.

    I have been researching a traditional farming method from the Vedic culture of India, known as "Agnihotra". It uses fumigation and dispersal of "super-charged" ash to assist the health of local ecosystems (supposedly affecting up to 40 hectares). Agnihotra is said to work on similar concepts to biodynamics, using the energy of cow manure and astronomical timing to harness subtle healing energies from the sun and cosmos. Agnihotra uses the sound vibration of Vedic mantras as a key component of its "technology". There are some anecdotal claims circulating on the net that Agnihotra assisted in neutralising some effects of radiation from Chernobyl, although at this time I understand that such claims have not been scientifically validated.

    A brief description of Agnihotra is provided on my website HOMA PROJECT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA www.cp.org.au/homasupport

    It is my aim to assist in bringing together scientists, agriculturalists and cross-cultural researchers to establish a new round of scientific research on Agnihotra, with a view to assisting the nuclear remediation efforts in Japan and elsewhere in the world (e.g. Middle east and Depleted Uranium residues).

    Feel free to contact me directly via email chris.poynton@gmail.com Cheers, Chris Poynton Bendigo, Victoria AUSTRALIA
     

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