WVU Researchers Find Psilocybin, Amphetamine in Fungi that Infects Cicadas

Jul 30, 2018

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Cicadas have been seen doing some strange things, like moving around and mating despite having up to a third of their bodies missing. Researchers suspect that fungi are involved. Several scientists at West Virginia University took advantage of the 17-year cicadas that emerged about two years ago to dig a little deeper. So they investigated the relationship between cicadas and certain kinds of fungi by looking very closely at what kinds of compounds are in the fungus.

On this West Virginia Morning, Matt Kasson, assistant professor of plant pathology and environmental immunology at WVU, and Gregory Boyce, a post-doctoral researcher in allergy and clinical immunology, were involved in the research and spoke with news director Jesse Wright about a very surprising study they published last week. 

Also on today's show, the number of hepatitis A cases continues to grow in the Ohio Valley. Health officials across the region are scrambling to slow the spread of what they call an unusual outbreak. Those most affected are often homeless, poor, or struggling with addiction. 
Ohio Valley ReSource health reporter Mary Meehan explains how the region’s income inequality is fueling the spread of this infectious disease.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.