Expert goes deep into forest to explore mushrooms

Associate Professor Nguyen Phuong Dai Nguyen, a biology expert, spends most of his time studying new types of mushrooms to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous species to avoid public food poisoning.

The scientists who grow special varieties of oyster, lingzhi mushrooms
The ‘Tibet room’ full of cordyceps mushrooms in Hanoi
More VN youth tripping on magic mushrooms

Expert goes deep into forest to explore mushrooms
Associate Professor Nguyen Phuong Dai Nguyen conducts research on mushrooms. Photo baodaklak.vn

Besides time spent at Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) University in Buon Ma Thuot City as a lecturer, Nguyen has a mushroom research lab at the university and grows mushrooms in a cool room at home.

Everything in his life is related to mushrooms, even his family. His wife is also a doctor and his son, an eighth grader, has nurtured a passion for mushrooms and won a science creativity contest for a project on Lingzhi mushrooms.

Majoring in biology, Nguyen loves studying plants. His first job after graduation was at a mushroom farm where witnessed too many deaths due to poisonous mushrooms. He decided he must do something to help others identify poisonous mushrooms.

“In the Central Highlands, mushrooms grow abundantly and there are many species, much more than other plants. Poisonous and non-poisonous species are mixed together so it’s difficult to distinguish them,” he told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper. “To warn the public about poisonous mushrooms, the first thing is to understand them.”

Whenever he has free time, Nguyen embarks on adventures deep into the forests with a camera and binoculars to explore mushrooms.

He has set covered almost every forest, national park and nature reserve in the Central Highlands, even visiting the same place two or three times.

Travelling a lot does not tire him. Instead, it makes him feel more passionate because “each journey is an interesting experience”.

Nguyen often consults elderly villagers and local doctors from ethnic minority groups who use traditional herbal treatments in order to expand his knowledge about local mushrooms.

 

After 20 years of studying, Nguyen has identified roughly 300 types of mushrooms including ten new species. Among them are nearly 70 poisonous kinds and more than 20 non-poisonous ones, but the others remain a mystery to him as “a lot needs to be done on the study of mushrooms, and even a whole life’s effort may not be enough”.

He has conducted extensive research on the Lingzhi mushroom and found that not all kinds of this species have magical medical values as rumoured.

“Among the hundreds of types of Lingzhi mushroom found around the world, less than 10 have medicinal values,” he said.

Among the edible mushrooms he has eaten, the most delicious are the yellow and purple khaki mushrooms which are crunchy, sweet and fresh. The most expensive is the ô linh mushroom, scientifically known as Xylaria nigripes which used to only be found in Yunnan, China, but is now found in Yang Sin National Park in Dak Lak Province and Bidoup Nui Ba National Park in Lam Dong Province.

Ô linh mushrooms grow in ants’ nests. When they were discovered by local people living in northern mountainous areas, Chinese traders were ready to buy high prices of VND80-100 million (US$3,400-4,200) per kg to make medicine.

His research team is studying the scientific value and growing process of the ô linh and designing a process to cultivate these mushrooms.

Besides having been published in more than 60 scientific journals locally and globally, he has also authored two books and won awards and patents. Nguyen was the first Vietnamese lecturer to develop his own cultivation process to bring mushrooms to the market.

The mushroom named after him, Dai Nguyen, is famous in the Central Highlands for its high nutritional value. They are a species of Lingzhi grown by his family in a cool room at home.
“I hope that even people who are not rich can afford to buy these types of valuable mushrooms,” he said. VNS

Hoang Thien Nga

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi asked to focus on 5G development, telecoms firms link up
Hanoi asked to focus on 5G development, telecoms firms link up
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/06/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications has asked the capital city of Ha Noi to invest in 5G ecosystem development and make the city a regional network security centre to help bring digital economic growth rate of the city to 30%.

Thailand to set up cyber police bureau
Thailand to set up cyber police bureau
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  14/06/2020 

Thailand will establish a cyber police unit to counter high-tech crimes, with more than 1,700 "cyber police officers" to be stationed across the country to handle computer-related offences, Bangkok Post reported on June 12.

VN Information and Communications Ministry introduces corporate governance platform
VN Information and Communications Ministry introduces corporate governance platform
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  14/06/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) debuted the corporate governance platform 1Office at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 12.

PlayStation 5: Sony gives first look at the PS5 console and games
PlayStation 5: Sony gives first look at the PS5 console and games
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/06/2020 

Dozens of games were teased including a return to the Spider-Man, Horizon and Gran Turismo franchises.

Offshore wind power: great expectations, big challenges for Vietnam
Offshore wind power: great expectations, big challenges for Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/06/2020 

Vietnam’s offshore windpower potential is great, and the opportunities to develop it must not be missed just because of difficulties in the development of this new industry.

Bkav unveils plans to produce low-cost 4G smart phones
Bkav unveils plans to produce low-cost 4G smart phones
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/06/2020 

Bkav has announced plans to produce the Bkav-C85 smart phone series to support 4G connectivity at a price of less than VND1 million (US$43) as the firm strives to reach the goal of universal 4G phones in the near future.

Schools could be forced to close on ‘bad air’ days
Schools could be forced to close on ‘bad air’ days
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

Vietnam may order schools to shut down on days when the air quality is poor, according to the draft law revising the 2014 Law on Environment Protection.

Mobile network operators agree to share 1,200 transceiver stations
Mobile network operators agree to share 1,200 transceiver stations
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

Four mobile network operators of Viettel, Vinaphone, MobiFone and Gtel signed an agreement in Hanoi on June 10 to share about 1,200 base transceiver stations (BTS).

George Floyd: Amazon bans police use of facial recognition tech
George Floyd: Amazon bans police use of facial recognition tech
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

The move comes after IBM ended its facial recognition activities amid concerns over racial bias.

Nearly 1,500 cyber attacks hit Vietnam’s information systems
Nearly 1,500 cyber attacks hit Vietnam’s information systems
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

Nearly 1,500 cyber attacks were recorded on information systems in Vietnam in the first five months of 2020, a year-on-year decline of 43.9 percent, according to the Department of Information Security.

Facebook, MPI join hands in tourism promotion
Facebook, MPI join hands in tourism promotion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

The Ministry of Planning and Investment and Facebook have jointly launched the "Proud Vietnam" project, including the "Immense Vietnam" music video, which aims to promote the country’s tourism.

Vietnam wants to ‘go fast and far’ in developing AI
Vietnam wants to ‘go fast and far’ in developing AI
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/06/2020 

Vietnam is in the early stage of AI development. It has made a strong start at the A level, and is, step by step, moving towards the B and C levels.

Conservationists call for elimination of elephant riding tours in Vietnam
Conservationists call for elimination of elephant riding tours in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/06/2020 

Riding elephants is a tourism service that exploits animals and poses risks for both visitors and mahouts.

HCM City sees big decrease in street flooding
HCM City sees big decrease in street flooding
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/06/2020 

The anti-flooding works carried out in HCM City since 2008 have helped reduce the number of streets that are flooded during moderate to heavy rainfall, according to the city Department of Construction.

Amazon removes T-shirt showing George Floyd death
Amazon removes T-shirt showing George Floyd death
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/06/2020 

The T-shirt, available on the US store, broke guidelines about depicting a crime scene.

Hope for pangolins as protection boosted in China
Hope for pangolins as protection boosted in China
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/06/2020 

China has removed pangolins from its official list of traditional Chinese medicine treatments, reports say.

Broken section of AAE-1 undersea cable fixed
Broken section of AAE-1 undersea cable fixed
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/06/2020 

Repairs to the Asia Africa Europe 1 (AAE-1) undersea cable have been completed, domestic internet service providers said on June 8.

Germany helps Vietnam tap into biomass potential
Germany helps Vietnam tap into biomass potential
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  10/06/2020 

A seminar was held in Hanoi on June 9 to launch a German-funded project on climate protection through developing sustainable bioenergy markets (BEM) in Vietnam, 

VN Central Highlands: easy to close forests, but difficult to bolt the door
VN Central Highlands: easy to close forests, but difficult to bolt the door
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/06/2020 

Natural forests have been closed for a few years as per the command from the Prime Minister. However, the forests still continue to disappear.

Hanoi spends VND114 billion on street cleanup
Hanoi spends VND114 billion on street cleanup
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  09/06/2020 

Hanoi authorities have agreed to spend VND114 billion (USD4.95 million) on washing local streets in order to help mitigate air pollution and relieve the scorching heat.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN