- The scientific study of fungi.
“My sister traces her interest in mycology back to her early reading of the mushroom hunt in ‘Anna Karenina.'”
“The library is hosting a mycology seminar to help people identify local varieties of mushrooms and fungi.”
“The mildew removal company was called Mycology Masters.”
Latin, mid-19th century
Why this word?
“Mycology,” or the study of fungi, is an English word that was coined in the early 19th century, but it was based on the Latin word “myco-” and the Greek structure of other “-ologies.” Fungus is a vast category of organisms that includes mushrooms, molds, yeasts, smuts, and mildew, and people who study fungi in academic and other scientific settings are called “mycologists.” While mycologists and mushroom foragers have traditionally studied which species are edible versus toxic (and even deadly), interest is rising in the hundreds of mushroom species that produce a psychoactive compound called “psilocybin.” Research is underway to test the efficacy of psilocybin on treating mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
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