6 facts about mold
Mold - one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. She appeared 200 million years ago and learned to survive in any conditions: radiation, arctic ice and open space. It saves lives and can kill.
A clever mold
Remember the old experiment in which a rat must find the right way in the maze to get the food. So, as the Japanese scientist found Toshuki Nakagaki, mold cope with this task is not worse. In 2000, he conducted an experiment by placing at the entrance to a maze of molds "Physarum polycephalum", and the output of a sugar cube.
Mold immediately let the "germs" that aside sugar, fungal spores filled the entire space in the maze, razdvaivayas at every intersection. As soon as any of the processes got into a dead end, he turned back and was looking for a way in the other direction. Microscopic fungi took only 4 hours to complete all the moves a maze and find the right way to sugar.
But what is most interesting when already past the maze mushroom mycelium otschipnuli piece and once again placed at the entrance to the labyrinth, putting the end of sugar - one of the germs unerringly chose the shortest way out of the maze and sugar, and the other just "climbed" on the walls of the maze and crawled across the ceiling. Thus, a simple mold discovered not only the rudiments of memory, but also the capacity for innovative ways of solving problems, which indicates the presence of the fungus intelligence.
Mold accompanies us everywhere, she lives in huge colonies in the bathrooms, apartments, ventilation shafts, and that the most unpleasant in our refrigerators. Therefore, people are used to just ignore it. And for good reason.
In addition to being a microscopic fungus can destroy entire buildings, it is also toxic to the human body. During growth it produces substances that affect the lungs, intestines and skin. Their spores penetrate the airways and "settle" within us, opening the way for bacteria and viruses. Allergy - perhaps the most harmless consequence of living with mold as a neighbor. Microscopic fungi capable of destroying the structure of DNA and lead to cancer. According to scientists, the mold and its venom is practically eliminated from the body. The most dangerous, in this case, is considered to be yellow mold of the genus Aspergillus, which "start up" on dairy products, fish, and nuts. She identifies a dangerous substance aflatoxin, which accumulates in the body and can cause liver cancer in 10 years.
The Curse of Tutankhamun
At least two mysterious deaths subsequent to the opening of the archaeologist Howard Carter untouched tomb of Tutankhamun, today blamed the mold. It turned out that in the lung tissues of mummies still living mold fungus Aspergillus niger, which can be fatal for people with weakened immune systems or with a damaged pulmonary system.
The first victim of "Tutankhamun" - organizer and sponsor of the excavations of Lord Carnarvon, long before the discovery of the tomb was in a terrible car accident in which damage the lungs. He died of pneumonia shortly after visiting the tomb. Behind him, he died and another member of the excavation - Arthur Mace, who, in a tragic accident, was seriously ill before the start of the excavation. His weakened immune system has become an ideal environment for developing deadly mold qualities.
One of the main and most dangerous properties of the mold is its ubiquity. Microscopic fungi are able to survive, without exaggeration, in all conditions. They thrive in arctic ice, on the radioactive sarcophagus 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and even in outer space.
Thus, in the experiment "Biorisk", which was directed to investigate the influence of the open space conditions on living organisms, three capsules of fungi spores penicillum, Aspergilus Kladosporium and brought into open space and attached to the hull of the orbital station. The results were simply stunning, spores of fungi after a six-month stay in space not only survived, but also mutated, becoming more aggressive and resistant. And that's not a record. The researchers placed a mold of the genus Aspergilus fumigatus in a test tube with a powerful anti-fungal drugs. Part of the colony stood the blow. And this despite the fact that the chance of survival in the mold under the given conditions were exactly the same as a person who has been placed in concentrated sulfuric acid.
Mold and antibiotics
Penicillin - an antibiotic that saved the life of the first in the world for hundreds of thousands of war during the Second World War, was first launched by the British bacteriologist Alexander Fleming in 1928 from a strain of mold fungus species penicillum notatum.
As is the case with most brilliant discoveries, it happened quite by accident. In one of the petri dishes with bacteria Staphylococcus, as a result of improper storage started up a gray-green mold. Fleming was surprised to find that not to kill colonies of staphylococci that claimed so many lives during the First World War, around this mold simply vanished. Miracle cure, from which all the wounds of war dragged on before our eyes, has been improved already during the Second World War. On awarding the Nobel Prize to the creators panacea - Fleming, Florey and Cheney had said: "To win the war penicillin has made more than 25 divisions!".
Doctors strongly recommend that - if the product has started to mold, it must be discarded. Simple removal of the affected area or to nowhere. If it is soft fruit, bread and jam, the mycelium is likely to spread to the whole product.
But not all mold that dangerous products. There is an edible mold, by which humanity for several centuries makes delicious blue cheese and camembert. At the beginning of the XV century, the French King Charles VI gave the residents of the village of Roquefort the monopoly on the production of local limestone caves of cheese of the same name. The technology has not changed much since that time. Each head cheese made from sheep's milk, long needles pierce through and through, so that he might get mold spores. A stable high humidity and low temperature provide fast growth of fungi.
Another popular product is obtained using the mold - French wine "Château d'Yquem". For its production grapes hit "noble rot" - fungus Bodritis Tsinerea, due to which the skin of the berries lose tightness, the fruit itself is wrinkled, but the content at the same time it becomes more concentrated. "Château d'Yquem", favorite wine of the Russian aristocracy of the XIX century, today one of the most expensive wines in the world.