Episode 2/013 - Fungi
Dr Rob and the team explore the biological kingdom of fungi – and it's about a lot more than just mushrooms! We take a look at some mouldy cheese, explore some rainforest fungi and get to know the stomach-churning world of human fungal infections.
Fungi 101 - click here to watch
Dr Rob explains why fungi have more in common genetically with animals than with plants and why they cannot make their own energy. You'll find fungi everywhere, even on humans!
To learn more about what makes a fungus a fungus, click here.
It might seem strange, but one of the best ways to explain fungi is by making a pizza! Julia explains how the yeast – a fungus – in the pizza base makes the dough light and fluffy. Plus…the cheese and mushrooms on top are also fungi!
Blue Vein Cheese
Justin Telfer, a Cheese Maker from the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia, takes us through the process of making blue vein cheese. He shows us how the familiar blue colouring in this type of cheese is actually a fungus!
Want to know more about the delicious cheese Justin makes? Click here to visit his website.
We've talked about fungi you can eat, but what about fungi on your body? Helen Alexiou from the Mycology Unit at the University of Adelaide explains how she diagnoses, identifies and removes infections caused by fungi. Warning – contains images not for the faint-hearted.
If you'd like to learn more about the gruesome world of human fungal infections (also called 'mycoses'), click here.
Some of the most colourful and exotic fungi can be found in our rainforests! Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher from the Queensland Mycological Society explores how the fungi contribute to growth in the rainforest.
Found a curious fungus in your garden? Click here to get the Queensland Mycological Society's help in identifying it.
Did you know that because of the diseases they carry, mosquitoes are more deadly to humans than any other animal? Dr Jonathan Darbro, a Research Officer from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is working on a fungus-based method to control mosquito populations.
To read more about fungi that live off insects, click here. (Includes cool-yet-freaky time-lapse videos!)
So join Dr Rob for yeasts, mushrooms and moulds as he once again proves that the ordinary becomes extraordinary; under the SCOPE!