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What's Your Poison? Ergot!

Did you know:

  • Ergot is a toxic fungus that grows mainly on rye plants.
  • Claviceps purpurea can also infect barley, oats, and wheat.
  • It reduces the crop yield and causes a disease called…
  • 202 more words

A brief insight into fame, the drug habits of dinsosaurs and a phone in rice

As I am still a zombie from the after-effects of the Edinburgh Fringe and not yet fully able to string thoughts together, here is a blog (to quote… 451 more words


On witchcraft and mass psychogenic illness.

Because she is N’s best friend’s grandmother, I recently had the pleasure of meeting the researcher who first proposed that the Salem witchcraft trials were inspired by ergot poisoning… 1,305 more words

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Ergot in Wheat: A Brief Summary


We have seen a lot of ergot in the panhandle of Nebraska this year and we have been getting a lot of questions about it.  767 more words

Farmer Coop

St. Vitus' Plauge; Or; The Truth Behind Disney Song and Dance Numbers

Between the 14th and 17th century, a rather unique plague repeatedly struck Europe: St. Vitus’ Plague. It’s also known as the Dancing Plague or dancing mania. 312 more words


The Mystery of English Sweating Sickness

It’s easy to imagine how hard it must be to diagnose an ancient disease from bones alone. Many illness leave no trace on the skeleton, and soft tissues are rarely preserved, so in most cases it is impossible to even say that an animal or prehistoric human was sick at the time of their death, much less what they died of. 1,993 more words