Chapter 7 : Jelly from Space?

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Many microbiologists are vaguely aware of occasional media reports about the gelatinous material, sometimes called , which is said to arrive on Earth during meteor showers. Some may have been berated, by the taunts of true believers, who insist that orthodox science is fecklessly ignoring evidence of fungal arrivals from space. Indeed, an article in , asserted that the beliefs found in ancestral cultures concerning links between space phenomena and terrestrial blobs of jelly are useful. Such ideas enhance ethnomycology because they illustrate the range of complexity and conditions in which a fungus myth was developed. Over the centuries, there have certainly been lots of descriptions of weird gelatinous goo observed shortly after the appearance of shooting stars. The author, T. McKenny Hughes, described as a mass of white translucent jelly lying on the turf. The news kept many US citizens spellbound and encircled the nation, similar to a classical radio transmission of an alien invasion on Halloween's Eve in 1938. Elsewhere, other myxomycetes have attracted human curiosity because of their seemingly extraterrestrial origin. The vast majority of reports on , whether by mycologists or onmycologists, have been purely descriptive. Identification, when attempted at all, has been based on purely morphological criteria. There seem to have been no studies at all using modern molecular techniques.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Jelly from Space?, p 30-33. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch7
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1. McKenny Hughes, T. 1910. Pwdre ser. Nature 83: 492.
2. Nieves-Rivera, Á. M.,, and D. A. White. 2006. Ethnomycological notes. II. Meteorites and fungus lore. Mycologist 20: 22 25.

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