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    Five years ago, Emmanuel Reyes took two pills which were in two bottles on his night stand, to relieve an intense pain that was bothering him. Shortly after, he began vomiting, stopped breathing and lost consciousness. The next thing Reyes knew, he was in the emergency room, being attended to by a group of doctors.

    Those pills almost cost the 30-year old his life. Due to his condition of sickle cell anemia, an illness which causes chronic pain and fatigue, Reyes takes opioid medications such as methadone and morphine. The Dominican native says that he accidentally mixed two opioid medications in what was nearly a fatal overdose.


    This behavior is made possible by varying gravity sensors that many organisms carry inside their bodies. A calcium carbonate crystal deep inside your ear brushes against hairs when you move, signaling up from down to your brain. In some plants, balls of starch slide around inside special gravity sensing cells like beads in a maraca, telling a plant or tree to reorient if it tilts sideways.

    Many fungi with parts that pop out of the ground are thought to also have gravity sensors. Because fungi only send out spore-filled fruiting bodies when nutrients are low, ensuring they point to the sky is critical to survival so spores can disperse.

    But most fungal gravity sensors are mysteries except the crystal matrix of Phycomyces blakesleeanus. These dense bodies fall through the cytoplasm of spore-containing cells, signaling them to keep reaching toward the sky as they grow.