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Brainwashed By Fungi!


Imagine an insect that is brainwashed by parasitic fungi (genus Cordyceps). This interesting fungi manipulates insect's brain forcing him to climb the plant or tree, and upon reaching to the top grows out of his head or body! Cordyceps also called Chinese caterpillar fungus, native to the Tibetan plateau in China. In human beings, it enters through the ears, germinates in the mind, causes the host to destroy rival communities, and exits via the mouth, and infects others. A Korean study of a related species of Cordyceps indicates that it has components that may inhibit coagulation, making it potentially beneficial in stroke and heart attack prevention. A hot water extract of the fungus appeared to stimulate the immune system. In other studies, which have reported that Cordyceps may be useful in treating Hepatitis B. A study from Thailand reported that Cordyceps nipponica might be of value in the treating malaria. Another review concluded that Cordyceps might be promising as a possible support for heart & lung function. Interesting fact is that Chinese Olympic athletes use this fungi to improve their performance and stamina.

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Marta
Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi (sac fungi) that idnulces about 400 described species. All Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, mainly on insects and other arthropods (they are thus entomopathogenic fungi); a few are parasitic on other fungi. The best known species of the genus is Cordyceps sinensis, first recorded as yartsa gunbu in Tibet in the 15th Century . The Latin etymology describes cord as club, ceps as head, and sinensis as Chinese. Cordyceps sinensis, known in English commonly as caterpillar fungus is considered a medicinal mushroom in oriental medicines, such as Traditional Chinese Medicines and Traditional Tibetan medicine.
Marta at 01:57PM, Sep 26th 2012.
Sarah
This reminds me so much of the Las Plagas from the Resident Evil games. I'm really glad it can't infect humans...yet...
Sarah at 08:20PM, Jul 19th 2011.
Eilis
I saw a documentary on this once, it was very interesting.
Eilis at 06:32PM, Jul 24th 2010.
bhanuteja
oh my gosh too scary eating these??these fungi can be used to make more vaccines and antibiotics.
bhanuteja at 11:10AM, May 1st 2010.
Randall
Oh, gosh! That's scary! It's a good thing i did some research, though, because cordyceps CANNOT infect humans only certain species of insects. It was a good fact, but unless we can start believing zombies are real, this is not a valid fact.
Randall at 02:18AM, Mar 13th 2010.
Richie
Cool fact
Richie at 09:19PM, Oct 6th 2009.
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Avram
I wouldn't like to meet one of these :S
Avram at 07:52AM, Oct 4th 2009.

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