Wed 17 Jul 2013
OKOKOK this an example of bad journalism or AT LEAST cultural differences between 2 countries forms of journalism. Either way it made me slightly angry. If you read the article you will see that a fungus which is a really important food source but also a source of naturopathic medicines in Japan is at the heart of this article. (and yes, the disaster continues apace but the world has gotten tired of it and the Nuclear Power industry has wanted everything to die down) But if you actually read the article, the fungus is new and with great potential but it was discovered or at least the sample was taken in 2006 and the only connection to the Fukushima meltdowns is that the fungus is in a village closed to the public because of its proximity to the site and the mention comes at the END of the article. Now in the US, except in the tabloids, these kinds of headlines would not be allowed. But I guess any tie-in in Japan to something that is still roiling the country is allowed.
New fungus discovered in Fukushima
The Yomiuri Shimbun A fungus found in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, in 2006 is a new species, it has been learned.
The fungus, named tsubugata-aritake, is a type of tochukaso, or caterpillar fungus, that grows and feeds on insects and is valued as an herbal remedy. The formal acknowledgment came as a German specialist journal on mycology carried a paper on the fungus earlier this month.
Unlike other caterpillar fungus in Japan, tsubugata-aritake is a “takeover” type that feeds on insects such as ants and cicadas that have already been parasitized by another tochukaso, scientifically termed Ophiocordyceps sinensis.
The Chinese and Tibetan caterpillar fungi that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths is well known as a Chinese medicine. According to the Japanese Society for Cordyceps Research, a society for caterpillar fungus researchers and enthusiasts, there are about 500 types of the fungi, 450 of which have been found in Japan, where research and studies on fungi are thriving and many new types have been discovered. In recent years, the caterpillar fungus has been attracting attention for use in health supplements.
“If it has any medicinal benefits, I’d like to commercialize it and donate sales profits to reconstruction [of the prefecture],” said Yoshitaka Kaitsu, a pharmacist in Date in the prefecture who discovered the fungus.
Kaitsu, the society’s vice chairman, has a good track record in finding caterpillar fungi. In 1986, he found another type of caterpillar fungus that also turned out to be a new species and was named “kobugata-aritake.”
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