Fungal freeways

3 minutes

Why is a mathematician studying fungus?

While the cells in our bodies each hold a single nucleus, in fungus, millions of nuclei move side-by-side in a series of interconnected passageways. Under a microscope, these passageways bear a striking resemblance to cars on a highway, each nucleus-vehicle responsible for distinct tasks – a phenomenon scientists are still working to understand. Fungal Freeways is a brief dive into the Myco-Fluidics Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Marcus Roper, assistant professor of mathematics, and his team are working at the intersection of biology and mathematics to crack fungi’s secret solutions to complex organisational problems.

Producer: Christian Baker

Video by Science Friday

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