The Waarheid fungus

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
The Waarheid fungus
Something inspired by http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7413/full/488690a.html and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1866175/?tool=pmcentrez Most space habitat eco-engineers spend much time worrying about fungal ecology. Fungi are adaptable, ubiquitous and quite able to grow where they are not intended. From the cruft behind panels on ordinary spacecraft to subversive mycelial networks under the parkland in the greatest O'Neills, if the fungi get out of control the ecosystem suffers. The Fall led to a few cases when things truly got out of hand, like the Waarheid fungus. Waarheid Habitat was a HEO habitat operated by Roodewal-Orchid. During the Fall all contact was lost, with final transmissions suggesting widespread internal fighting against subverted defense automation. Being potentially infested with TITANs or still active defensebots it was never high on any salvage list, but in AF 9 a crew from Myrmecos visited. They discovered that the habitat had survived after a fashion. The defence systems had killed all inhabitants and then gone permanently dormant. The habitat had closed up the solar windows and then slowly rotted. As the vegetation died the ecosystem was taken over by fungi and detritivores. Over time most organic material became food for the growing fungi, converting everything into a web of hyphae, with rhizomorphs stretching deep into the soil and walls hunting for nutrients, and bizarre fruiting bodies adapted for microgravity. Evolutionary competition and a high mutation rate had made the fungi extremely adept at absorbing nutrients. As the Myrmecos crew discovered, this was a real problem. Some species really loved the energy- and nutrient-rich environment of their spacecraft, despite sensible post-mission sterilisation. They suffered explosive mold growth in the kitchen. One species apparently had found a way of breaking down the pseudo-proteins used in smart clothing. Worst, one species had a liking for biomorps. The Waarheid fungus usually infects via the lungs, where it colonizes the mucus. Then it begins to expand as filaments into the tissue, causing brown cough. If left untreated it leads to death in much the same way as pneumonia. The dead body becomes a massive breeding ground for the fungus, erupting fruiting bodies from all available orifices, spreading the spores for a new cycle. The most worrying aspect of the fungus is that it is quite resistant to normal antifungals and medichines: it has evolved some unknown protection against them, perhaps as a side effect from evolving in a fullerene-rich environment. A healing vat can handle the early stages of infection fairly well by dismantling the infected tissue and building new lungs, but the problem is that the spores are small and very persistent: if you get it on a ship it takes a complete sterilization of every spot to get rid of them all.
Extropian
Decimator Decimator's picture
Well, that is...unpleasant.
Well, that is...unpleasant. I like it!
Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
ground zero in Hellas?
Could it be caused by that strain that caused quite a stir in the Hellas region, last year? it was in Anyang, if I remember correctly. Stupid gene hackers from the university messing up, I bet! I'd ding them on Ecowave if I knew who they were. Maybe even on RNA, because I think it'd hurt them more on that repnet.
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NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Myconid morph
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
This calls for cleansing
This calls for cleansing thermonuclear fire.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit. As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal. Such is the price of all ambition.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
NewAgeOfPower wrote:This
NewAgeOfPower wrote:
This calls for cleansing thermonuclear fire.
Ah, note the second link title: "Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi" ;-)
Extropian
NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
Hmm.
Arenamontanus wrote:
NewAgeOfPower wrote:
This calls for cleansing thermonuclear fire.
Ah, note the second link title: "Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi" ;-)
Oho! Very clever! While I doubt any fungus directly exposed to the fireball would survive... Let's be safe now... Ambiplasma it is, then.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit. As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal. Such is the price of all ambition.
Alasnuyo Alasnuyo's picture
Wow. This greatly reminds me
Wow. This greatly reminds me of Morrigan Lugus from Supergod. Also a bit of vibe of Biomega.
Krysta42 Krysta42's picture
i need cash now what do i do

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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Step it up Mr. Bot, can't
Step it up Mr. Bot, can't even get your post right. We only accept quality spambots 'round these parts.
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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
I wonder what happens if we
I wonder what happens if we put bot-code into a fungus? I'll whip up some spores in the lab and see what happens. BRB.
Extropian
gamesgoldprice gamesgoldprice's picture
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CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Much better! You got the
Much better! You got the links to work that time and everything. I think it might be learning. Also, what is it about fungus that draws in all the spambots, I wonder.
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