Remediate Fukushima radiation with fungi

Gomphidius glutinosus Source: Wikipedia

Paul Stamets, mycologist, suggests using mushrooms to remediate radiation from Fukushima nuclear disaster.   He writes:

Many people have written to me and asked more or less the same question: “What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?”

The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation. And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom.

The nuclear fallout will make continued human habitation in close proximity to the reactors untenable. The earthquake and tsunami created enormous debris fields near the nuclear reactors. Since much of this debris is wood, and many fungi useful in mycoremediation are wood decomposers and build the foundation of forest ecosystems, I have the following suggestions:

1. Evacuate the region around the reactors.

2. Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists, nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens.

3. Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.

4. Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.

5. Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24 inches.

6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosusCraterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina(all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.

7. Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT protocols.

8. Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art storage technologies.

By sampling other mushroom-forming fungi for their selective ability to hyper-accumulate radioactivity, we can learn a great deal while helping the ecosystem recover. Not only will some mushroom species hyper-accumulate radioactive compounds, but research has also shown that some mycorrhizal fungi bind and sequester radioactive elements so they remain immobilized for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, we learned from the Chernobyl disaster that many species of melanin-producing fungi have their growth stimulated by radiation.

The knowledge gained through this collaborative process would not only benefit the areas affected by the current crisis, but would also help with preparedness and future remediation responses.

How long would this remediation effort take? I have no clear idea but suggest this may require decades. However, a forested national park could emerge –The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone – and eventually benefit future generations with its many ecological and cultural attributes.

Read the full article at Permaculture Magazine, click here.

Paul Stamets talks in the video below about many ways in which mushrooms are good for us and our environment. He identifies species of mushrooms that are anti-microbial, calling them a new class of medicines.  “Save the old-growth forests as a matter of national defense,” he urges.

Turkey tail mushrooms are supportive of ‘natural killer cells’ in breast cancer treatment, he explains.  Stamets tells a story of his mother’s struggle with breast cancer and the cure she received through the use of these amazing fungi.

He describes Cordyseps mushrooms from which the medicine cycosporin is derived.  They also work as bio-pesticides.  Through the use of these fungi, “We can make toxic chemical pesticides obsolete,” he furthers, “And steer insect migrations away from crops and people,” all the while controlling, “Disease vectors carried by insects to animals and plants,” to save billions of dollars and protect biodiversity.

Stamets’ Bioneers conference talk is packed with information about incredible fungi, well worth 25 minutes of time to watch.


Composting shredded leaves by Mike McGrath

In his TED talk, Mike McGrath urges the audience to shred leaves in Fall for great Spring compost.  He says to add coffee grounds  as well, but save kitchen scraps for worm bins as they are ‘cold’.

Guitar A-string resonates at 432 hertz, not standard tuning

I’ve made a surprising discovery about the A-string on my guitar.  Other musicians have probably noticed that the A-string is the first to fall out of standard tuning.(A=440 hertz)  But, when I play the following video in resonance with ancient, solfeggio(A=432 Hertz), this guitar string is always in-tune.  I’d appreciate anyone willing to verify this with their own instrument.  Play video and pluck the A-string to see whether the two are not already in-sync.


Prototype electrolyzer makes fire from water

Euronews has a report on this new portable device that makes fire from water.

Description from Euronews:

Published on 30 Oct 2013

This flame is made of pure water. It’s 20x cheaper than natural gas. And it’s real.

A portable device that makes fire from water has been developed within a European research project. It doesn’t use flammable gases, it produces its own fuel as needed.

Andrew Ellis, a research technologist with ITM Power, explained: “This is an electrolyzer system we’ve got here. It’s been developed to use a standard mains electricity supply, and water. The water is split into hydrogen and oxygen gases and fed into a torch where a flame is produced, which can then be used for brazing or any other industrial application where flame is used. So it’s just using water to make a flame, basically.”

Traditionally, the use of electrolyzers has been limited by the high costs of membranes and of catalysts requiring platinum or other precious metals. The researchers wanted to make this technology more affordable.

Andrew Ellis said: “We’ve got a whole team of chemists working on new formulations of membrane, which have shown increases in the performance of the electrolyzer. We’ve also been doing lots of research on catalysts, trying to reduce the amount of platinum and looking into much cheaper materials that can be used in the cells. And this research has led to big reduction in the cost of electrolyzer systems.”

Hydrogen and oxygen are recombined at the very tip of the torch, creating a flame that is cooler and much easier to handle than commonly-used mixtures of oxygen with propane or acetylene.

Rory Olney, a welding consultant, said: “You can see from the flame that it’s a lot softer compared to something like an oxy-acetylene flame. There’s no actual hot spot just off the tip of the nozzle, so glare from the flame is a lot less aggressive on your eyes. So you see I’m just wearing clear goggles.”

Pressurized bottles containing acetylene are dangerous and inconvenient. Their use is banned in locations where gas leakage could be too risky. And the hot oxyacetylene flame requires extra care when working with sensitive metals such as aluminium.

Steven Baines, a specialist in materials and joining, and the TWI/SafeFlame Project Coordinator, said: “We have high temperature, high velocity, which can melt the workpiece very quickly, and that’s one of the principle downsides.”

Hydrogen-based flame is more gentle, and cleaner too, because it only produces water when it burns.

Nick Ludford, a materials scientist with TWI, said that compared to acetylene gas, they anticipate that the cost of the gas in their new unit would be at least 20 times cheaper than acetylene – because of the absence of expenses like gas storage, insurance, and transport.

Small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to assess these advantages in the near future when the technology is expected to become commercially available.

Right now, the prototype electrolyzer system is being thoroughly tested by welding professionals in the UK.

Rory Olney said: “One of the main benefits of this torch, this system, is that the torch always remains cold because the flame, as it’s being produced, burns on the outside of the torch. So it’s cold to touch, and as I’m using it, the torch never gets hot. And when you turn the flame off at the [end] of operation, the torch will also remain cold afterwards, so you can put it down anywhere you want.”

Thor News on four comets tracking through solar system

If comets are dirty snowballs, whose throwing them?  Thor News hosts describe the four comets:

Published on 10 Nov 2013 PLEASE do not watch this video unless you are an intelligent human being with a sense of humor. Thank you. Yes. It is true. We’ve got 4 major comets in our inner solar system which is a very unusual event. Comets s1 c2012 ISON c2013 r1 LOVEJOY c2012 X1 LINEAR and 2P ENCKE. It’s raining dirty snowballs, y’all! Some are periodic, some are hyperbolic but they are all special in their own way. These are strange and interesting times indeed. With the announcement of the Lazarus comets waking up in the Asteroid Belt, then p/2013 p5 growing six tails, NASA being neutered by Congress and the White House, all the talk of Neutron Stars, Brown Dwarves and little green men, who knows what shall happen next?

Superfood “hot smoothies” – David Wolfe with Lisa Garr

Gaiam TV presents this interview with host Lisa Garr and nutritionist David Wolfe on, “Energy, health and longevity,” featuring superfoods from around the world which can be purchased on-line at

Superfood “hot smoothies” contain no stimulants nor quick burning sugars, but are said to boost energy and support healthy immunity.  The description from Gaiam TV states:

Nutrition and natural health expert David Wolfe speaks with Lisa Garr about the tremendous healing potential of superfoods, such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, bee products and a host of others. Together they demonstrated how to make his secret Energy Elixir, a super-smoothie that rejuvenates and energizes the body and mind. David lives a remarkably busy life, but hasn’t gotten sick in 15 years! Tune in as he shares his secrets. David Wolfe has been an advocate of raw food, superfoods and natural health for 22 years. A bestselling author, he coaches Hollywood celebrities and business people on nutrition and wellness. He is considered by his peers as one of the leading authorities in nutrition. See more at: