A dinosaur-killing asteroid gave rise to “magic mushrooms”

4 min read

The theory that a huge asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago has been around for a very long time, and scientists think that this asteroid might have caused the extinction of dinosaurs on our planet, and that the ashes might have sparked the creation of new animals, plants, and life on other planets.

The above illustration is of an artist’s rendition of two theropods, Silutitan sinensis (left) and Hamititan xinjiangensis (right), being surrounded by more theropods and dinosaurs as well.

There are a number of fungi that have appeared over the recent past, including those that produce psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, that produce psilocybin. 

Psilocybe genus has evolved in a straightforward manner, but its evolution involved a significant amount of genetic diversity, which has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal recently, which indicates that it evolved approximately 65 million years ago. This is significantly earlier than previously thought. 

A meteor impact would have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, which would indicate that the emergence of magic mushrooms occurred at the same time as the extinction of dinosaurs.

Despite still being illegal under federal law, hallucinogenic mushrooms are believed to have no therapeutic value, which is why researchers from governments, as well as foreign institutions, have been studying these fungi to the fullest extent possible. 

Traditionally, these mushrooms have been revered by indigenous Mesoamerican civilisations for a long time. There has been a recent approval for psilocybin therapy in Oregon and Colorado, two states that were previously leading the way in the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use before the therapy was approved. There has been a gradual increase in the number of Americans utilizing the therapy due to its purported psychological benefits.

In essence, this research is the culmination of years of effort by the scientists involved in this project. A genomic sequence is expected to be generated for every specimen of the Psilocybe type that they acquire from international collections by the year 2020. It has been reported that 71 specimens have been sequenced thus far, and they are still going and doing more.

That news provided by timenews.

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