Now there’s a headline we bet you don’t see every day. Before you get the wrong idea, we’re not about to suggest that rancid bread should be used as some kind of - frankly unthinkable - contraceptive device.

No, we’re talking about the sex the mould has among itself. It turns out that the bacterial coupling that can transform your lovely loaf into a white, furry mess within a week, could hold the secret to curing the uncurable diseases of our times.

A University of Missouri scientist says that the way the cells reproduce in bread mould may lead to precise "targeting" of unwanted genes, such as those from the HIV virus, and effectively "silence" them.

Patrick Shiu, assistant professor of biological sciences, says: "Knowing the process of how DNA in moulds is targeted for silencing could be important for silencing genes you don’t want to be expressed, like disease-causing genes."

How about that? The staff of life clonks death on the head.