When discovered over a hundred years ago, the fungus was simply called “insect killer.” Now, scientists want to enlist the spores in the fight against malaria.

Researchers have been using fungal spores to wage war against insects for over a hundred years, mostly targeting agricultural pests like the wheat cockchafer in Russia and the pine moth caterpillar in China. These alien-like fungi largely ignore human beings but eagerly burrow through the chitinous exoskeletons of insects and eat the arthropods from the inside out.

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