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Eat/Don’t Eat Mushroom Gauge

Electrophoresis with Dummy Light
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Mushroom hunting is fun, but it can also be dangerous because there are some poisonous mushrooms that look just like edible ones. I propose a small electrophoresis device, programmed with the DNA fingerprints of the common edible mushrooms.

When you pick a mushroom, put a little of its DNA in the machine. If it doesn’t match an edible variety, the device beeps and illuminates a DON’T EAT indicator. Alternative memory cartridges are available in case you’re only interested in the hallucinogenic kind.

AO, Jun 14 2004

Destroying Angel http://www.bluewill...ta_bisporigera.html
[hippo, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Theres more to life (dna) than just Mushrooms http://www.amazon.c...07?v=glance&s=books
[PainOCommonSense, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       You want a PCR sequencer and analyzer like the ones already available, but portable, limited to fungi, and without that pesky skill and training requirement.
angel, Jun 14 2004
  

       do mushrooms have fingers to fingerprint?
po, Jun 14 2004
  

       But by that time you've already contaminated your fingers with Destroying Angel (Amanita Bisporigera) - see link. Better to test it with a little Pottasium Hydroxide - see link again.

This test won't, of course, work for Death Cap - you'll just need a liver transplant after eating it.
hippo, Jun 14 2004
  

       "Mushroom hunting is fun..."
There's a bumper sticker if ever there was one.
phoenix, Jun 14 2004
  

       Will this work on radioactive mushrooms in a cloud?
DesertFox, Jun 14 2004
  

       No, but it would allow you to entertain yourself as you slowly died of radiation poisoning by DNA fingerprinting every five minutes to see how your genes had mutated. Sort of like obsessively pressing refresh on the 'recent' screen.
spacemoggy, Jun 14 2004
  

       The device should pick up the sample with a thin biopsy needle. That way you don't have to touch the mushroom and you don't destroy a mushroom that you won't eat.
kbecker, Jun 14 2004
  

       Then a junkie might kill himself with the needle.   

       Or would the drugs kill him first?
DesertFox, Jun 14 2004
  

       Alternatively a cheap and easily available guide to edible mushrooms would probably do the trick.   

       But on another note why just mushrooms? (obviously they can be deadly) but hey lets extend this to all things that you can (and more importantly can't) eat. You could stick this probe into your dinner and check what it will taste like. Or you could stick it into a plant that looks like Rhubarb and check to see if it will give you a bad case of the Fast Harry's. I can think of all kinds of fun with this little fella. You could even take this beauty to the supermarket and find out what all the stuff is in the World Foods section of the groceries.
PainOCommonSense, Jun 15 2004
  

       //Alternatively a cheap and easily available guide ...// I have seen a few. They look very nice, but if something goes wrong it is still the users fault. A simple go/no-go gauge would apparently move the responsibility to the manufacturer of the device and give the user confidence. Of course there is some small print in the manual that limits liability to the purchasing price, but who reads it.   

       I agree with the extended application. Salmonella for food, clamydia and yeast for sex ect. Once you have the hardware there are lots of applications.
kbecker, Jun 15 2004
  
      
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