In many warm and humid regions, including certain parts of the United States, mold tends to thrive. But have you ever wondered why even seemingly spotless items can turn into perfect breeding grounds for these unsightly fungi?
The intriguing truth is that mold spores are practically everywhere! They're even present, to some extent, on our own bodies. Luckily, our daily hygiene routines, like good old hand-washing, usually manage to get rid of them.
However, when specific conditions align just right, these spores decide to throw a fungal party and sprout into something called mycelium. It's a bit like how mushrooms mysteriously appear in certain areas after a good rainfall. Surprisingly, mold and mushrooms belong to the same fungal family, and they bear a striking resemblance to each other.
Spores, Spore Sac, Mycelium
In a recent experiment with my colleagues, we conducted a rather peculiar test. We touched various items with our hands and then placed those contaminated hands on clean slices of bread. After about ten days, each slice of bread had developed a variety of colorful fungi. It was indeed a sight to behold, a curious mix of fascination and unease.
We also examined these molds at both low and high magnifications, which was, well, a rather interesting experience.
Lo-mag Observation of Spore Sacs
How to Observe: Remove the mini petri dish of the lo-mag lens and get close to the spore sac for observation. (If you really need to observe the mold, it is recommended to wear a mask during observation.)
Key Observation Features: You can see individual "spore sacs" and "mycelium."
Hi-mag Pro Observation of Spore Sacs
How to Observe: Use tweezers to pick up the mold's mycelium and place it on the circular slide. Apply a sampling sticker for observation.
The main focus here is to get a clearer view of the mostly transparent mycelium and to see the numerous tiny spores inside the spore sacs.
If you're interested in more tutorials about microscopic observations, consider joining our Facebook group: the uHandy Microscopic Imaging Community. It's a place where curiosity knows no bounds!