Friday, August 12, 2011

Dare you to eat one, brah...

Just imagine coming across this on a late night Psychonautic adventure through the woods.

From Science Daily: Mushroom Lights Up the Night in Brazil

Alright, so the article's title may be a bit hyperbolic in describing the luminescent properties of Neonothopanus gardneri (or flor-de-coco - flower of the coconut - as the locals call it), but still. Glow-in-the-Dark mushrooms. How cool is that??

Apparently thought to have gone extinct shortly after its discovery in 1840, these nite-lite fungi are making a comeback. Also known as the ghost mushroom for its eerie glow, scientists are gathering the mushrooms in hopes of determining what makes the fungus emit its otherworldly light. Originally theorized to work off the same chemicals found in the common firefly, the mushrooms have now proven harder to deconstruct than first thought. Not only do the mushrooms lack in the chemicals fireflies use to emit their glow, a chemical mix of a luciferin compound and a luciferase (yeah, I have no idea what the hell that is either, it just makes me sound smart), but the mushrooms also glow 24 hours a day, compared to the relatively brief and sporadic glow of the firefly.

Unfortunately, the article from Science Daily doesn't dig deep and go that extra mile for the answer I know we're all dying to hear. What happens if you chow down on a few of these little buggers?

To the 5th Dimension! Ho!


  1. Luciferase, besides being an awesome twist on "Lucifer", is an enzyme that is widely used by geneticists in the pursuit of 'making shit glow'. You may remember the triumph of making a tobacco plant glow. Yes, you can thank Luciferase. Actually, it's so simple that they can insert the code for Luciferase into the promoter region of any gene to make literally anything glow while keeping the gene's original function intact. Pretty sweet, huh?

  2. Thanks, Mr. Wizard! I'll be sure to use that nugget of information next time I'm on Jeopardy...smartass

    Haha, yeah that is wicked sweet. Did you see that story about the Koreans making a glow in the dark beagle?