A glimpse of Mycology & Virology

M Y C O L O G Y

Did you know that Mushroom is a Fungi?  And those fungi were studied in a MedTech Class. Hence, Mycology. Traditionally, Mycology is a branch of Biology (particularly in Botany), but because of its medicinal role and importance, it is  now studied as part of Medical TechnologyMycology includes the study of the genetic and biochemical properties of fungi, their taxonomy as well as their use to human.

These fungi are fundamental for life here on earth because of their roles as symbionts. Aside from that, the medicinal role of these fungi includes its hypoglycemic activity, anti-cancer activity, anti-pathogenic activity and immune-system enhancing activity.

There are different varieties of mushrooms. Some are edible, some are not. But my favorite is the Oyster Mushroom. It is not only edible, but there are recent studies that these type of fungi naturally contains cholesterol lowering drug, and large amount of Vitamin-D (which is essential for the absorption of calcium and prevention of rickets in children) were produced when exposed to UV light. Aside from that, Oyster Mushroom (mainly Pleurotus spp.) were easily propagated.

TRIVIA: Combination of organic waste such as Saw Dust, Banana Peel and Groundnut Shell can  be used to propagate Oyster Mushroom.

V I R O L O G Y

On the other hand, Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents. This focuses on the structure, classification and evolution of virus, but more importantly, their use in  research and therapy.

Viruses can be classified according to the type of host cell they infect (animal viruses, plant viruses, fungal viruses, and bacteriophages). Another classification uses the geometrical shape of their capsid (often a helix or an icosahedron) or the virus’s structure (example is the presence or absence of a lipid envelope).

Different types of viruses ranges from the most common to the most deadliest. And because of that, we, humans have been battling viruses since before our species had even evolved into its modern form. For some viral diseases, vaccines and antiviral drugs have allowed us to keep infections from spreading widely, and have helped sick people recover.

(And because we don’t have MYV Subject yet, we will give some trivia  about viruses, instead.)

TRIVIA: 

  • The word virus appeared in 1599 and originally meant “venom”.
  • The first virus ever discovered was tobacco mosaic virus.  It was hypothesized in 1883 and confirmed in 1935.
  • Walter Reed discovered the first human virus, yellow fever virus, in 1901.
  • The genetic information of viruses can be DNA or RNA; single or double stranded; one molecule or in pieces.
  • Viruses are not alive – they are inanimate complex organic matter. They lack any form of energy, carbon metabolism, and cannot replicate or evolve. Viruses are reproduced and evolve only within cells.
  • Viruses are not exactly dead, either: They have genes, they reproduce, and they evolve through natural selection.
  • There are more than 100 different viruses that cause the common cold.  This is one reason an effective vaccine cannot be made.

 

Sources:

Ten cool facts about viruses

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/apr/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-viruses

 

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