Presearcher at Bioregion Institute (3/4)

Hello there, welcome to my third blog entry as a Presearcher at the Bioregion institute.

After the previous blog post, I kept working on the “Oatsss” project and completed much of the same tasks. Then, they introduced me to a new project named: Mycelium Lab. The Mycelium Lab project is built around the culture of local fungi species to explore mycelium-based materials. Mycelium is the root-like structure of fungi, it is a complex system that extends underground. Those past few years mycelium have been used in textile to replace leather or by industries to replace plastic food packaging. It could be a promising alternative to traditional materials which is what has been explored at Bioregion. This is certainly the project I have been involved in the most. I worked in the lab as a “microbiologist” trying to grow my own mycelium cultures on different substrates. It was exciting to jump from one project to the other, seeing how different they are!

Mycelium in a petri dish, Bioregion Institute.

Simultaneously, I participated in the development of the Fossil Free Playground project which is basically a mix of the two previous projects I described (Oatsss and Mycelium Lab). I worked closely with the architect in charge of that project, to do scientific research and find reasons to create alternative to current playground surfaces. This is where my toxicology knowledge came most in use, they gave me access to Reports from governmental entities, such as REACH Reports, with specific detailed chemical composition of playground surfaces, for me to go through and explain.

Woolly Pot, Bioregion Institute

Finally, I two last projects I had the chance to work on were:  Woolly Pot and Woolly Silent. Woolly Pot has the goal of replacing the plastic pots in Norwegian agriculture with compostable pots made of wool. The project is at its final state and my input was mostly looking for scientific support that wool pot in agriculture would be beneficial to the soil, the plant and maybe even the farmer. Woolly Silent are decorative wall tiles, 100% natural that utilizes the wool’s sound-absorbing, insulating and self-cleaning qualities. This project did not require so much scientific input although they did ask me to research rather or not plastic sound absorbing products could be toxic in any way but I couldn’t find any scientific literature on that.

A lot happened between my second and third blog post! But my internship is coming to an end and I am about to release my last blog entry. Stay tuned!

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