|A section devoted to newspaper clippings, unusual articles and some psilocybian mushroom trivia|
|Hello and welcome to our News archives. In this section you will find a wide variety of newspaper clippings regarding the visionary mushrooms. I Started to catalogue these clippings back in 1973. All together there are more than 100 pages of news items of incidents involving psilocybian mushrooms. They are arranged alphabetically and chronologically by countries and by dates. This page features news itmes from Australia.|
THE ADVERTISER. August 11, 1972
Many Taking A 'trip' on Hills Mushroom
by Barry Hailstone
A small brown mushroom that grows widely in the Adelaide Hills in July and August is providing drug addicts and thrill seekers with a potent hallucinogenic drug.
The mushroom brown all over and about 1 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches across the head, contains the drug psilocybine, which is covered by the narcotics and psychotropic drugs act.
The mushroom is being passed around Adelaide in fresh and dried forms.
An expert at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute warned yesterday that even small quantities could cause serious poisoning.
The SA [South Australia] Public Health Department's pharmaceutical inspector (Mr. Lloyd Davis) said users and those interested knew what the mushrooms looked like, where they could be found and how to use them.
He doubted weather amateurs experimenting would be poisoned because there was a well organized system of communication among users and would be users.
Three young people who tried the mushroom drug last year were admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and treated for poisoning.
Word of the mushroom's effects spread to SA from Queensland a year or so ago and it was subsequently discovered in the Hills.
The mushroom is a prohibited plant in Queensland.
In SA a chemist has to test the mushrooms found in possession of a suspect to ascertain that they contain the prohibited drug psilocybine.
Nicole has a magic target
Friday, December 17
A Deakin University PhD student has developed a world-first test to identified whether mushrooms are `magic' or not.
Forensic science student Nicole Anastos has found a chemical light reaction which detects traces of psilocin, the hallucinogen in mushrooms.
She is also working on a test to screen for psilocin in the human body.
Ms Anastos started investigating tests for magic mushrooms to improve their detection at crime scenes.
She is working in collaboration with the Victoria Police Forensic Services Centre and Forensic Science South Australia.
"They have a few seizure samples of magic mushrooms every year," she said.
"They basically need a sensitive technology to determine whether there is psilocin."
She perfected the technique using mushrooms from Melbourne Botanical Gardens.
When there were traces of psilocin, a particular reagent would produce a light reaction.
She said the advantage of the new technique was that it was much more sensitive than conventional tests.
``There are small amounts, traces of the chemical, and you can actually detect it and use it quantitatively,'' she said.
Next year she plans to develop a screening method to identify traces of magic mushrooms in urine.
She said traces of magic mushrooms could remain in the human system for several days.
Synthesis and Chemiluminescence Detection of
Psilocin and Psilocybin
Ms Nicole Anastos (Deakin University, Australia)
Email Address: email@example.com
Prof Neil Barnett (Deakin University, Australia)
Dr Simon Lewis (Deakin University, Australia)
Dr Nicholas Gathergood (Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, Australia)
Prof Peter Scammells (College of Pharmacy, Monash University, Australia)
Mr Noel Sims (Forensic Science South Australia, Australia)
The hallucinogenic indole psilocin is the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’. This species and its precursor psilocybin are similar in structure to serotonin and its derivatives, which have previously been successfully determined by our group using chemiluminescence. A flow analytical study using sequential injection analysis and flow injection analysis with chemiluminescence detection is presented. The limits of detection for psilocin and psilocybin were 9.0 x 10-10 M and 3.5 x 10-10 M respectively. A concise synthetic route for psilocin is also described. The potential for chemiluminescence detection as a post column reaction detection system for liquid chromatographic analyses of psilocin and related compounds will be discussed.
NEWS IN SCIENCE Test for magic mushrooms glows in dark.
Alkaloids found in magic mushrooms act on the brain to produce changes in perception and hallucinations.
General News (Australia)
June 16, 1999.
WA: Magic mushroom season starts in Balingup.
PERTH, June 16 AAP - The normally quiet West Australian farming town of Balingup would rather be known for its arts, crafts, jams, chutneys and fruit wines.
Instead, it is fast earning a reputation as the magic mushroom capital of Australia as dozens of day-trippers make the 240km journey south of Perth for the annual season.
However, Senior Constable Peter Duncan from Donnybrook Police said the patience of the 300 residents of Balingup is now running out, with farm gates left open, nude romps in the ...
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By Julie Robotham Medical Writer
The cases, all in Victoria, are the first to be reported in Australia where mushroom poisoning caused kidney failure, prompting a warning that doctors should be aware of such poisoning as a possible cause of kidney failure.
There is concern such cases may become more common because death cap mushrooms - a possible source of the poisoning - are becoming more widespread throughout south-eastern Australia.
"Given that the patients did not experience hallucinations, it is likely that the cases ... are due to species misidentification," Peter Mount, who recognised the mushroom poisoning, wrote in the journal Internal Medicine.Dr Mount, a Melbourne kidney specialist, wrote: "It may be that those who seek hallucinogenic mushrooms are less discerning and more prone to species misidentification than other foragers."
A 17-year-old died five months after he was admitted to hospital, and a 24-year-old needs dialysis to survive. The condition of a 16-year-old with kidney failure is unknown as he did not attend further hospital appointments.
True magic mushrooms have never been associated with kidney failure, and most cases of severe mushroom poisoning in Australia have led to failure of the liver rather than the kidneys.
A Sydney University toxicologist, David Le Couteur, said less than half of Australia's mushroom species were known and their toxicology documented.
It was likely many cases of poisoning went unrecognised because doctors did not ask the right questions, particularly if the patient was abusing other drugs, Professor Le Couteur said.