Neil DeGrasse Tyson describes the joys of zombie insect fungi and you

By George Chidi
Sunday, August 18, 2013 18:03 EDT
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
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The highly-acclaimed recent video game release “The Last of Us” inspired a question to noted scientist and public intellectual Neil deGrasse Tyson on the StarTalk Radio show Friday. Could the real-life zombie fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, that infects some species of tropical ants turning them into “zombie insects” actually affect humans?

Tyson, along with radio host Chuck Nice and infectious disease expert Laurie Garrett, talked about the difference between familiar (and tasty) fungi like Shiitake mushrooms, the fungus causing athlete’s foot and jock itch, and zombie fungi.

Watch the clip below.

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