Love, Sex & Mushrooms (Paperback)
Advenutres of a Woman in Science
Green Place Books, 9781732081529, 272pp.
Publication Date: November 2, 2018
When a young girl, Cardy Raper told her mother, "When I grow up I want to be a scientist and make grand discoveries " Her mother responded, "You could become a nurse." Science was a man's world then. Cardy refused to take "no" for an answer.
Her dream seemed attainable when she met her mentor, Professor John "Red" Raper at the University of Chicago who said "Yes, you can be a scientist " They became soul mates, fell in love, married, parented children, moved to Harvard, and did research together on the versatile sex life of fungi.
Red's untimely death left Cardy alone in the competitive world of cutting-edge science. She carried on, obtained a doctoral degree, learned the techniques of molecular genetics, and established her own laboratory where she conducted pioneering research on the genetic and molecular determinants of sexual reproduction in a mushroom-bearing fungus with 20,000 different sexes. This fungus has served as a model organism for exploring the way in which sensing molecules, such as pheromones, function to communicate in more complex organisms.