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Fungi emit intelligent electrical signals. This discovery can change many concepts about sustainability and how humans should treat the environment. Can you imagine a guy receiving tips directly from a being of nature? This revolution may happen sooner than expected. Read more.
The most popularly known fungi are mushrooms, molds, slime, and yeasts.
The great information processing potential of fungi was discovered in a laboratory experiment when an electrical impulse was detected from a hemp fabric colonized by fungi.
The experiment proved that fungi can "sense" a diversified range of external stimuli such as light, temperature, and the presence of other chemical substances.
Such attributes of these organisms from the Real of Fungi are yet another important asset that will further boost the self-sustainable textile into smarter clothing.
Fungi making smart clothes smarter!
Fungi shall be the raw material not only in the production of smart textiles but also in other smart devices (computers and cell phones).
Most sophisticated electronic devices need sensitive circuits to perform their complex functions. When connected to fungi, these functions become simple, i.e., no matter how complex the system is, fungi rationalize the problem easily.
A paper entitled "Wearable Reactive Fungi", presented at Biosystems, showed a study done with the fungus called Pleurotus ostreatus. This very organism senses environmental stimuli with faster responses. In short, the role of fungi seems to be just similar to a high-level biosensor discerning chemical, mechanical, and electrical stimuli much faster and more precisely than any other conduit.
Spores produced by mushrooms or mold could be a solution for man's extraterrestrial colonization!
The spores - known as basidia - may live outdoors, unlike mold, for example. Since it's malleable, it could be used exclusively in self-sustainable structures. This possibility opens up other fronts for the possible application of fungal intelligence in unprecedented situations.
Spores could be raw material to build self-sustainable structures when humans start colonizing Moon and Mars.
Following the agenda of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, new domes or habitations on the Moon and Mars are about to be a feasible plan.
NASA researchers are investigating the potential of spores that make up a fungus’s main bulk – to help construct outposts on the moon and Mars.
These tiny threads build complex structures with extreme precision, networking out into larger structures like mushrooms. Researchers claim these spores can be coaxed into making new structures, from a material similar to leather to the building blocks for a habitat outside Earth.
Researchers conclude, "Can you imagine building on these environments schools, offices, and hospitals that are growing, regenerating. That would be the pinnacle of sustainable life!".
Meet the biological computer: another fungus-based application.
For the manufacture of a biological computer, the so-far best raw material, according to researchers, is the pink oyster mushroom. Its applications can surpass the capacity of quantum machines and the human brain!
A mushroom that can be more powerful than the human brain! Isn't that crazy?
The pink oyster mushroom generates electrical impulses similar to the synapses of the human brain.
The scientific community is stunned. According to them, "The fungal synapses can develop a kind of fungi language. It was discovered due to a rhythmic alternation of the synaptic spikes showing an intelligence behind a pattern, just like the human brain's synapses do."
Talking" to nature through the fungi realm
The first communications via fungi were detected by computer scientist Andrew Adamatzky at the University of the West of England in the UK. He was able to decode 50 "words" produced by a network of fungi. In other words, the electrical hums emitted by the fungi have a logical, language-like meaning. According to the scientist, "This very discovery turns out to be revolutionary as it would reveal many secrets nature still keeps from us, humans!".
Nonetheless, neuroscience basic techniques to measure fungi synapses are not reliable so far. The path still requires patience to be paved. The gate is already open after all.
Once the pattern of language and intelligible understanding is defined conclusively, "environmental computers" shall emerge.
Can you imagine, in near future, using your laptop with a microprocessor made by fungi? So you can keep a real conversation with mother nature?
Developers remark: "Fungi-based computers, so-called "environmental computers", are not supposed to replace silicon processors. They will be made to be environmental biosensors. So environmental machines will aim to detect climate instabilities, levels of pollution, and other aggression against the environment caused by humans. Its precision will be far more reliable than satellites and other devices, as well. Besides, they will offer alternatives to correct the problem. In other words, this information might come directly from the source: mother nature!"
In short, environmental computers will be able to:
- Monitor the large amounts of environmental data streams as part of a daily basis activity, among other local necessities.
- Translate the environmental issues with precise information, such as the aggressions on the ecosystems, and, ultimately, provide concrete and feasible actions to remedy the problem.
Partnership in nature
Natural proof that fungi "talk": trees need them to transport their proteins to the plants in need.
In the forest, for example, the best-spotted trees “ask” the fungi nearby for help so that they can transport nutrients to other trees that are unable to do so because they live in a permanent shadow and cannot perform their own photosynthesis. As an appreciation for receiving help from the fungi, the trees payback by transferring sugars and fatty acids to them.