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Fungal Filters

July 9, 2014

Fungal filters remove harmful bacteria from water.



Battling bacteria with fungi. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

You might be surprised to learn that you have a lot in common with fungi. Mycologist Paul Stamets points out that the animal kingdom is more closely related to the fungus kingdom than to any other. We share common enemies, like disease-causing bacteria and penicillin, the first antibiotic, came from a fungus. In the journal Ecological Engineering, Stamets reports on a fungal filter, or mycofilter, he’s developed to remove pathogenic bacteria from water.


They’re filtration networks, and  so they actually physically can capture the bacteria as it gets flown through this net, or filter, and then once it’s captured, then it gobbles them up as a source of nutrition.


The mycofilter is just one many fungus-based inventions that Stamets is pioneering, to support human and ecosystem health. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Paul Stamets is one of seven inaugural AAAS Lemelson Invention Ambassadors, a group of scientists and engineers who will share their stories and passion for invention with public audiences around the country. To learn more about this year’s group, visit AAAS Lemelson Invention Ambassadors. Nominations for the 2015 class of Invention Ambassadors will begin in Fall 2014.