29 December 2009

Cordyceps emerges from the brains of insects. And may cure cancer.

As Sir David Attenborough explains in this Planet Earth video, the cordyceps fungus is lethal to insects. Now a study to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports that cordycepin, a substance derived from the fungus, has potential as an antineoplastic medication:
...at a low dose cordycepin inhibits the uncontrolled growth and division of the cells, and at high doses it stops cells from sticking together, which also inhibits growth.


  1. I saw the same video clip a couple of weeks back and immediately wish I hadn't.

  2. Eeeeek.... It could cure cancer... or turn us into hyper-contagious, fungus-addled, tree-climbing, sporulating corpses. That's even more creepy than zombies. But hey, it's worth a shot.

  3. Some fungi leave inside human bodies (not that I want to worry you or anything).


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