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Empa Quarterly #74: Teaching fungi how to write


Spalted wood is a highly sought-after material in the high-end furniture industry. In a newly developed process, Empa scientists led by Francis Schwarze have succeeded at controlling the spread of fungi in native wood types. Recently, they created an elaborate clock one meter in diameter made of spalted ash, beech and maple wood using the soft rot fungus Kretzschmaria deusta. The fungi were even taught to write some words, and just like first graders, they are still a bit shaky when writing particular letters. Image: Empa

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