Better Mining Through Fungus?

At first, I was going to start this article with "fungi to be with", but decided that joke is in spore taste.

"Not funny, Cowboy Bob!"

Right, I'd better get on with it.

There's a ground fungus known as Talaromyces flavus that actually "knows" how to get what it needs when it encounters iron: it essentially mines it.


A lowly ground fungus has the surprising ability to obtain iron for nutrients in a manner surprisingly similar to mining operations that humans use.
Original image source: Clker clipart
The fungus uses acid etching and extraction techniques quite similar to those used by humans. It should be obvious that the Designer of all creation gave it this unique ability to survive. If the trait was a product of evolution, it would never happen because the fungus would be stopped in its tracks (so to speak) and die.
What happens when a soil fungus runs into a hard mineral containing precious trace amounts of nutritious iron? A poorly designed fungus might go hungry and languish like a forlorn noodle, but researchers recently found ways that a soil fungus conducts a miniature mining operation. The details reveal a well-designed suite of fungal features that need a reasonable explanation.

Chinese investigators experimented on the soil fungus Talaromyces flavus that came from a serpentinite mine in Donghai, China. They used various techniques to assess exactly what goes on when the feeding fungus touches a green mineral called lizardite—a unique mineral found in serpentinite rocks. The researchers published their finds in the journal Geology.
To read the rest, click on "Iron-mining Fungus Displays Surprising Design". This would be a good place for a joke on the subject, but I'm a little rusty.

 

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