Mold Research: Student Research Quest

Ulf Thrane UT at
Tue Feb 15 02:36:57 EST 1994

>Date:          14 Feb 1994 11:15:37 -0800
>From:          cwisnia at (Cory M Wisnia)
>Reply-to:      cwisnia at (Cory M Wisnia)
>To:            "bionet.mycology mail newsgroup" 
><bionet-news at>
>Subject:       Mold Research:  Student Research Quest
>February 8, 1994 
>Hello.  My name is Rhea Rynearson. I'm an 8th grade 
>student at Mendocino Middle School and I'm doing a science 
>project on mold.   I have some  questions that I have not 
>been able to find the answers for in our local school 
>What are some  different kinds of useful molds other than 
>for cheeses and penicillin which are well known?   

You will find a lot of useful info in the ATCC Catalogue. 
Contact American Type Culture Collection, 12301 Parklawn 
Drive, Rockville, MD 20852-1776. FAX: 301 231 5826.
Also available by Gopher, or by telnetting to
For help send e-mail to help at

>Why are some kinds of mold be deadly poisonous? What part 
>of the body do they affect? 

It is part of their way to survive. Their external 
communication in the (micro-)ecosystem where they live. 
Most moulds produce a profile of "toxins" (secondary 
metabolites), some metabolites are very small (=cheap to 
produce, easy to excrete) and can very often act as metal 
chelators (a way to eliminate chemical defence systems), 
others are more complex (expensive to produce) and are 
actually the "toxic" compounds. So the mixture of different 
compounds is very important for the interaction between 
different organisms.
Nearly all parts of your body can be harmed by fungal 
metabolites. Even the smell may harm you!! Be careful.

 >What are some of the benefits from various molds besides 
>blue cheese and penicillin?  

A lot of different enzymes are produced - see the ATCC 

>Are there molds which are now being used for new drugs for 
>important sicknesses? 

Yes, eg. anticarcinogenic compounds - see the ATCC 

>Is there an ftp site or gopher site where I can find more 
>information,  or a LISTSERVE that you know about? 

The ATCC database. 
MYCONET:send your request to medlist at


Good luck
| Ulf Thrane                                                        |
| The Mycology Group                     Phone: +45 4593 3066       |
| Department of Biotechnology - 221   (direct): +45 4593 1222 x2630 |
| The Technical University                 Fax: +45 4288 4922       |
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