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What is Zombie Fungi?

All about Cryptococcus (Greek for "hidden sphere")

Cryptococcus neoformans fungus in human spinal fluid

Have you ever had the thought that some humans are nothing more than a puppet on a string? I'm here to validate those thoughts.

The cryptococcus fungus species can infect an organism and easily take over its brain and cause it to do things it normally wouldn't - ultimately leading to its demise. The fungus' goal is to grow and spread its spores. And this fungus LOVES your bran sugar, particularly inositol which is found in abundance in the spinal cord as well as the human brain.

To commandeer inositol from the brain or spinal fluid, this fungus uniquely uses its nearly one dozen genes to encode for sugar transporter molecules. When, usually, a fungus only has two. 

"Inositol is abundant in the human brain and in the fluid that bathes it (spinal fluid), which may be why this fungus has a predilection to infect the brain and cause meningitis," according to Joseph Heitman, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

Fortunately for us, the fact that cryptococcus is so drawn to sugar could ultimately result in its demise. "Now scientists may be able to target the fungi by developing ways to put them on the fungal equivalent of an Atkin's low- carbohydrate diet so they will stop multiplying."

However, all plants, creatures, etc., can always evolve to certain aspects of life. As the studies on this fungus continue, it will be interesting to see how they develop and possibly adapt to the point where humans are simply shells to a smarter controller...

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