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Human Uses of Fungi

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Bad Chemistry
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Bad Chemistry

Student Exploration

A Dry Bathroom Is A Healthy Bathroom

For many people, mold is just that stuff that grows on bread and really isn't a big deal. But molds are a very diverse group of organisms, as well as quite common. For some people, exposure to the wrong type of mold can be life-threatening. What determines the wrong type of mold? Well, researchers are still trying to figure that out.


Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What kinds of symptoms can develop after exposure to mold spores? Why are the symptoms so varied? Consider the difference between a primary and opportunistic pathogen in answering this question.
  2. What do molds usually do in the environment? How is this beneficial to ecosystems? Why are they less common indoors?
  3. What is a mycotoxin? Why are mold species that produce these particularly harmful? What have mycotoxins been used for?
  4. Why is moisture important to molds? What happens to molds in dry environments?

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