Deliberately self infecting with fungus is something very stupid... Did he survive?
I used to work in drug development specifically on anti fungal medication and they are all extremely hepatotoxic. They tend also to be pathogen specific. I doubt this fellow will live long enough to get a liver transplant.
We tend to think of the adaptive immune system, antibodies and such, as what protects us from disease. But it isn't nearly important as the automatic immune system that quickly dispatches most potential pathogens that find their way into our body without any period of learning. And that isn't as important as the barriers like skin and mucus that prevent all the critters of the world from getting into us in the first place.
Sheep and horse blood are used as growth media all the time. Not sure about this fungus though.
Though you’d think the body would be able to fight this off.
I am surprised the body didn't kill the spores off though. I'm very curious what portion of his symptoms were from the spores directly, and what portion were from the body's immune reaction going absolutely crazy.
If the symptoms are from the mushrooms and not from an immune response, that seems medically interesting. It might have applications in drug delivery systems, and in a long shot, maybe things like synthetic organs. Keeping the body's immune system from killing itself seems like a major hurdle to that.
Magic mushrooms, in particular, love cow dung as a growing medium.
That being said, fungus tends to be nigh indestructible. The guy boiled it before injection which really speaks to just how hardy those spores can be.
No, he poured boiling water over the mushrooms - big difference. Plenty of time for boiling water to cool before killing all of the spores.
This is a myth. Most magic mushrooms grow in wood, moss, dirt, etc. The media just likes hyping up p. cubensis first whatever reason.
"there are old mycologists and bold mycologists, but no old bold mycologists"
Fungi being more likely to grow in humans are one of the underestimated consequences of climate change which we might
run into in the future.
Why would climate change lead to more Fungal growth in humans? Genuine question
- Fungi often don't parasite humans as we are "to warm" (and many other reasons) but with increasing warmer weather fungi will likely adapt to it and in turn become humans become increasingly closer to be "an interesting habitat"
- Changes in weather changing how fungi grow and where they grow making it more likely for existing problematic fungi to come in contact with humans.
Take all of this with a grain of salt it was quite a while ago that I read about it and I mainly remembered the conclusion.
But there had been cases where due to (likely) climate change induced changes in weather fungi started infecting humans, it was either in the US or Australia. So sorry again not much useful information.
I guess it might have been better to not post this without trying to find the articles/dokus I had read/seen about it given that I don't remember to many details besides the conclusion I had.
(EDIT: Try searching "warmer weather fungi humans" at least on duckduckgo this yielded some articles about this which are not the sources I had read and I still have to read and evaluate them, but might find some useful information)
Imagine a trillion alternate earths where some percentage of humans try this but some survive and gain superior evolutionary improvements becoming a human-mushroom hybrid creature.
In a sense one can argue that all the processes going on in the body (thinking of e.g. white blood cells) is also a form of symbiosis.
(great book by the way!)
I don't think I understand this. And the fact the injected juice of boiled mushrooms made mushroom grow in his veins... It's beyond my sub-mediocre understanding.
This is a preparation stolen from heroin users. The idea is that you only want the water-soluble (i.e. dissolves in water) parts, and that the non-water-soluble parts are bad. So the cotton is meant to catch anything that isn't dissolved in the water. It's likely effective at catching large particulate.
> And the fact the injected juice of boiled mushrooms made mushroom grow in his veins... It's beyond my sub-mediocre understanding.
Mushrooms reproduce with spores, which are basically tiny tiny seeds. Too small to be caught by a cotton filter; solutions that have spores in them look like they're just kind of grey, you can't see the individual spores with a naked eye.
Spores are also some of the toughest things on the planet to kill. Surviving boiling wouldn't be crazy surprising to me. Anthrax spores (which is a bacteria, not a fungus) have been under the permafrost in the Arctic for who knows how long, and are infecting animals as the permafrost thaws.
Also, the article says he poured boiling water over them. Dumb, it's not going to uptake much of the psylocibin from the mushrooms on a single poor, but you know those gills on the bottom of the mushroom? The part with all the rows of really thin flesh? Those are covered in spores, and pouring water over them will definitely wash those spores into your solution.
Long story short, the guy was a moron. I think he was attempting to make injectible psylocibin, but that is a) generally unnecessary, and b) far more difficult than "lemme boil some mushrooms in water". At the very least, I would think you would want to isolate the psylocibin. Right now, he's injecting psylocibin, spores, and whatever bacteria he washed off the mushrooms with his boiling water bath. I'm not willing to bet my life that boiling water is enough to make it safe to inject. Maybe safe to drink in an emergency, but I would not risk sepsis for this.
I know nothing about biology either, but I'm guessing some spores survived the boiling and simply passed through the cotton.
Spores can survive atmospheric boiling temperatures of water. Often a pressure cooker is used to sanitize substrate (wheat, and many other things) to grow mushrooms on. This ensures the only spores that exist on your substrate is the ones that you want.
Substrate sterilization with a pressure cooker prevents bacterial growth and inactivates fungal virus that may ruin your harvest.
The letter is here but I can't access it from my phone: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S266729602...
Initial exam was remarkable for O2 saturation on room air of 92%, heart rate of 100, and blood pressure of 75/47. He was noted to be ill-appearing with dry mucous membranes, mild cyanosis of the lips and nail beds, and jaundiced skin. His abdomen was diffusely tender to palpation without rebound or guarding. He was grossly confused and unable to meaningfully participate in an interview.
Laboratory studies revealed thrombocytopenia, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, hypochloremia, hypocalcemia, acute renal insufficiency, and acute liver injury. Cardiac workup revealed elevated cardiac enzymes and his electrocardiogram was remarkable for sinus tachycardia and early repolarization. Mr. X was then transferred to the ICU for evidence of multi-organ failure and he was started on intravenous fluids, multiple vasopressors, broad spectrum antibiotics, and anti-fungal medications. His hospital course was further complicated by septic shock and acute respiratory failure requiring intubation on hospital day two and disseminated intravascular coagulation requiring plasmapheresis. Cultures confirmed bacteremia (ultimately cultured as Brevibacillus) and fungemia (ultimately cultured as Psilocybe cubensis – i.e. the species of mushroom he had injected was now growing in his blood). He was treated for a total of 22 days in the hospital with eight of them in the ICU. At the time of writing, he is currently still being treated with a long-term regimen of daptomycin, meropenem, and voriconazole.
Go to the last 10 seconds or so for the good bit.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057295/ "Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms."
Directed by the guy who did Godzilla.
If you don’t like the current mood, give it a few seconds.
Anyways, the point is bipolar people have mood swings that are very slow. Rapid mood swings in the same day are not a symptom of bipolar disorder; more likely, this is a symptom of borderline personality disorder. In fact, how rapid the mood swings are is one of the ways bipolar disorder is distinguished from borderline personality disorder.
Speaking from experience as I have been diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and BPD.
Didn’t think people here would know that one.
Medication she takes is for both.
When it’s bad, she start arguing about something and she will alternate between sweet, full rage, innocent, normal, babyish, nurturing, selfish, vindictive.
The rapid shifts are quite frightening. She would have little memory of mental states.
I had to start recording our conversations to prove what was going on.
but unfortunately, i know have even greater empathy for him, b/c he made a really dumb choice.
Someone who wasn't stupid would have filtered the 'tea' better before injecting it to make sure it wouldn't cause sepsis, and organ failure. Or you know maybe drink the tea instead of injecting it into a vein.
> Someone who wasn't stupid
Being bipolar/depressive doesn't make someone stupid, or necessarily ignorant. Not knowing the individual I can't make any judgements regarding this. But I have experienced severe depressive phases. During those (and similarly with manic phases) you can lose control of your mind and understanding/beliefs about the world. You may act stupidly (but do not become stupid) based on how your beliefs about the world change or the general loss of control over yourself you're experiencing.
You're being downvoted because there is a qualitative difference between these statements: "Someone is stupid" vs "Someone is acting stupid" or "Behaving stupidly". Though many people don't hear the difference when it's directed at them, there is a difference in sentiment and intent. The former is about the person themselves, the latter about their behavior. The former is hard to correct if true, the latter is something someone can alter about themselves (assuming they have some degree of control over their faculties and behavior).
As someone who has been depressed before I have thought and/or done some very stupid things. am I that stupid now? No. Am I still some times stupid? Almost certainly. But were all of my decision stupid? no. was I ever so desperate to inject something into my body without understanding what I was doing? No, but then I already know enough that I would anything injectable would need to be sterile.
Infants, children, adolescents; are all stupid when compared to PhDs. They make objectively worse decisions. someone suffering from severe depression is the same way they are stupid compared to themselves while not depressed or someone else not depressed. It may be temporary, or conditional, but stupid is an accurate description of reality. While they are altered, and incapable of correctly evaluating their decisions they are stupid.
I suspect the problem comes more from the misconception that intelligence is innate and not something that can be developed. someone who's stupid today, can become intelligent tomorrow.
Over 5,000 people died last year from antidepressant overdoses thanks to the medical establishment. I view people like mushroom guy as heroes who risk their lives to pursue leads and try and save millions while the medical establishment stumbles it's way around, being careful never to stray too far from the bank.
There are ways to self experiment that make some sense and there are a lot of ways to self experiment that are a good way to get harmed with little hope of upside and describing people who get badly messed up this way as "heroes" is probably a good way to increase the odds of more people getting badly messed up.
I wish there was more support for reasonable self experimentation as an alternative to "You are so completely and thoroughly fucked and no one will help you" but I really don't want to see something like this glorified as heroics because that will tend to get a lot of pushback against more reasonable methods of self experimentation and make it harder to find a constructive path forward.
If this guy stumbled upon a permanent cure for depression, we'd be calling him a hero.
When I used to be active on CF lists, someone got the bright idea to inhale some kind of oil using their nebulizer and ended up with pneumonia. You can readily google "oil induced pneumonia" and get articles about lipoid pneumonia. It's a well known phenomenon that inhaling fats or oils blocks the lungs and can cause pneumonia.
The reason we don't like people doing self experimentation is because a lot of people know shockingly little about how their body works and do damn little in the way of due diligence to look stuff up beforehand. I have difficulty imagining that I would inject any kind of fungus into my body for any reason.
That's just not a good way to extract the active ingredient he was looking to ingest, which can be ingested orally just fine from what I gather.
And I don't think we would be calling him a hero. Most likely, we would be claiming "He got lucky" and "It's a wild coincidence -- stranger things have happened" and wouldn't even bother to commission a study to see if it is replicable.
I agree with this. It took me a solid year of significant studying to get to the point where I could comfortably read a medical research paper, and that was coming from an engineering background.
However, when I look back at my life, some of my most impactful contributions have come from doing dumb risky things in fields I knew nothing about. I think the Kay quote "A change of perspective is worth 80 IQ points" applies here. Novices have a different perspective, which sure can be dangerous, but also gives them an 80 IQ point advantage.
Anyway, I agree with your point that it would be nice to make it safer to do biohacking, but at the same time I think we shouldn't be too quick to discourage it, as it's actually a smart strategy for society to have outsiders try things that would seem dumb from an insider's perspective.
People do a lot of stupid stuff for short-sighted reasons like public recognition.
I can speak firsthand as to what that gets you. And being labeled a "hero" is not what that gets you.
But that begs the question of maybe just missing an extraction step in the process lol.
Yes! 100% agree.
That kind of glory has been directed at other researchers.