(Links to an external site.) Based on this Ted Talk, why might fungi be able to help save the world, and were you surprised by any information?  

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I do not know your current knowledge base regarding fungi, so I can't presume to know how you responded to this Ted Talk. Personally, I teach biology, so I wasn't surprised to hear how important fungi are. They are hugely important decomposers that ecosystems around the planet depend on. They are also widely used in food production (yeast are fungi) and medicine production. One thing that I personally learned was that fungi are more closely related to humans than any other kingdom. This makes sense from a very wide view. Animals and fungi are both multicellular, heterotrophic organisms.

Fungi might be able to save the world because they exist just about everywhere. They are incredibly robust organisms. As evidence from the speech, the speaker intentionally pointed out that it was fungi that survived cataclysmic climate changes and are likely to be found on other planets. They are incredibly important to starting primary succession and protecting the entire biosphere. One amazing thing the speaker pointed out was how fungi were capable of breaking down an oil spill and converting it into fungal sugars that other organisms could use for food. Fungi are also capable of fighting viruses, which sounds incredibly important amid the current COVID19 pandemic.

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