Killer Fungi: A Clear and Present Danger to Life on Earth
We share our planet with millions of different types of fungi, which perform numerous functions that make our planet habitable. However, there is a dark side to this Fungal Kingdom. New fungi are emerging that are wiping out susceptible amphibians and bats, and others are having a devastating effect on crops thus threatening world food security. This is caused both by the accidental spread of hardy fungal spores into new places due to the globalization of trade, and the disruption of natural environments which creates breeding grounds for new fungi to evolve. As humans, we are also at increasing risk from killer fungi - over 1.5 million people are killed every year by a handful of fungal species - that’s a lot more than other infectious diseases we hear much more about such as malaria and superbugs such as MRSA. In this talk, I’ll give an overview of some of the planet’s fungal foes and how we can tackle emerging fungal infections.
Professor Jan Quinn.