EDUCATION: When Molds Attack

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Science  18 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5789, pp. 895
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5789.895c

The fungus Penicillium marneffei (left) is a sinister cousin of the molds that make penicillin. On the loose in Southeast Asia, P. marneffei invades the skin, eyes, lungs, and other organs, often picking on HIV-infected patients. Doctors and researchers can brush up on pathologic fungi such as P. marneffei at Mycology Online, hosted by David Ellis of the University of Adelaide in Australia. After you pore over the descriptions of medically significant fungi, try your hand at the identification quiz. Browse the laboratory methods section to learn how to culture molds from skin swabs or mix a stain that delineates fungal filaments inside tissue. The site also features a gallery and lets you download 500 slides of fungi and their symptoms gathered by the eminent Australian mycologist Geraldine Kaminski.

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