Myco-Grafts

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Stryder, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Okay this stems into a little bit of the cyberpunk genre from the Author William Gibson.

    In some of his stories he mentions of implants and grafts that use Mycology (The study of fungi).

    Now from what I can understand Fungi can be very contagious, and also very easily dealt with using antibiotics.
    What I was trying to understand is if for instance something was chopped off or your Nerves severed, wouldn't it be possible to place some form of fungi to grow the cells back together at an accelerated rate and then treat the person after a couple of weeks (or days) with some antibiotic to kill of the fungi, thus repairing the damaged nerve?

    It's a thought anyway.
     
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  3. FlowerPower Registered Member

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    Hmmm…

    Antibiotics do not treat fungal infections. This is why:

    -There are two main classes of organism: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic.

    -Bacteria are Prokaryotes.

    -Fungi, Plants, Algea, Animals (including Humans), and Insects are Eukaryotes.

    -Antibiotics are lethal to prokaryotic organisms, but harmless (relatively) to eukaryotic organisms. Remember that the first antibiotics (penicillin) were extracted from fungi, which means that fungi will synthesize antibiotic substances to compete with bacteria.

    And the idea of using fungus to fuse nerves together- it’s difficult to explain without diving into how the nervous system operates. A nerve cell can be very large, it has long extending portions called ganglion that can extend many feet from - lets say from your spine to the tips of your fingers. So when a nerve is severed, the only way of repairing nerve function is by fusing the severed ganglion. Now let’s say we introduce some fungus into this healing process. Fungus survives by consuming whatever metabolic substances it can find. The fungus will not care that a precious nerve ganglion is in the process of healing, it will try to destroy it and every other tissue it finds. I cannot think of any way in which this introduced parasite could help.

    But then again, we are often surprised to find that our intuition is wrong. Just look at the jump from Newtonian to Reletivistic physics.
     
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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    flowerpower,
    Thank you for point out the differences, after all "To err is human", and admittedly I was only going from an instance of thought rather than years of study and background.

    I had wondered about certain other preportions of this sort of understanding. namely if a body has a relatively harmless fungi, it might defeat bacterial infections also viral infections might be fought in a similar process.

    I of course don't have the backgrounding Flowerpower, but perhaps you could elaborate on the understanding, I would be most willing to hear.
     
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  7. FlowerPower Registered Member

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    fungus among us

    I don’t know of any harmless fungal infections that protect against bacterial infections, but the opposite is quite prevalent. Our skin and intestines are chronically infected with harmless bacteria called Normal Flora. In the vagina (one of my favorite subjects), normal flora protect against yeast infections (fungal). These normal flora protect just like a thick lawn of grass keeps weeds from growing – they occupy every niche and there isn’t a place for harmful bacteria to grow.

    My favorite fungal infection occurs in large vats of hops and malt, and you could say that beer is the common cure for many ills…
     

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