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Processors in Tech Wearables like Fitbits Could Be Replaced Using Mushroom Mycelium


Wearable electronic sensors, like those in Fitbit watches and pedometers that detect biological signals, could be replaced in the future by … fungi.

Oyster Mushrooms by Rachel Horton

No, that is not a typo. In a proof-of-concept study, the mycelium was able to perceive various external stimuli such as light, temperature, and humidity, but also certain chemicals in the environment and even electrical signals.

The mycelium of the oyster mushroom, the fibrous tissues of the mainframe of the mushrooms that colonize below the ground and from which the mushrooms sprout, were able to perceive electrical signals in such a way that they replicated that part for sensors and processors, which are readable by a computer.

In other (fantastic) words, the fungus’ perceptions of the environment would become the data that gives you the beats per minute count on your heart rate monitor.

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In nature, the mycelium is organized in geometric structures in and throughout the soil. While fungal mycelium doesn’t have much of a reason to detect electrical signals in nature that we know of, reprogramming the genes of the oyster mushroom mycelium to form different geometric structures that would optimize the sensing power of electrical signals is the ticket to riding that. does Professor Andrew Adamtzky think it is worth investigating.

“We have shown that it is possible to discern the nature of the stimuli of the electrical responses of fungi”, Adamatzky, who famous slime molds to solve mazes and optimize city road planning in Tokyo and France, he wrote in his new research work.

Fungus wearable incorporated in real fabric – courtesy of A. Adamatzky, Reactive mushroom wearables study

“The results paved the way for the future design of smart detection patches to be used in portable fungal reactive devices.”

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The patches mentioned were hemp tissues colonized with mycelium and then connected to computer sensors.

Spraying different chemicals on the patch, as well as exposing it to the different stimuli mentioned above, was what gave Adamatzky the security of the voice.

It’s nothing that’s going to take over the markets anytime soon, but it’s another fascinating application of the mycelium, which GNN has reported can be used to build bricks, coffins, canoes, and to great effect on nuclear waste cleanup.

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