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Mycologist seeks to calm fungal worries from The Last of Us TV show

Time, love and tendrils.

Top mycologist Paul Stamets (namesake of Star Trek: Discovery's top scientist who also studies fungi) has sought to reassure viewers that while fungi clearly make for good viewing, they are not the enemy.

In a recent Twitter thread, the mycologist praised HBO's The Last of Us adaptation and applauded the show for "seeing this opportunity to take us on a literary adventure into the realm of sci-fi while exploiting the public's fascination, fear, and joy of fungi".

He went on to note that though "these mixed emotions make for great writing... the sets, although apocalyptic, are strangely beautiful as nature digests the cities with flora and mycelium".

The Last of Us started airing earlier this month.

While a self-proclaimed sci-fi fan, Stamets is also a scientist - and one that knows his porcinis from his matsutakes. So, we can take his word for it when he says: "Let's get real. Cordyceps can not infect humans." Phew.

"In reality, fungi offer us today some of the best solutions that are needed for solving many of the existential threats that we face," Stamets wrote.

"In fact, Cordyceps-like fungi could replace the majority of chemical pesticides with an ecologically rational and economically scalable solution."

Stamets also noted that fungi are everywhere, we "live with them 24/7", and we are doing alright so far.

"These very fungi exist under every footstep that you take," he stated.

As someone who enjoys eating mushrooms in a risotto but otherwise knows very little about them, this is actually interesting to find out. Stamets sounds like he could be a fungi to hang out with.

In any case, if you have been concerned about a fungal pandemic, I hope this eases your mind. Huh, I wonder what that clicking noise coming from the kitchen is...

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Victoria Kennedy avatar

Victoria Kennedy

News Reporter

Victoria developed a deep love for video games since watching her brothers barrel their way through Goldeneye 007. She will unashamedly spout forth all sorts of niche Zelda lore to anyone who will listen (and even at times to those who won’t), and makes the best pancakes you have ever seen.

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