Slime Molds Can Think. Scary

14 Jul

slimemold

Molds can think, just like in Super Mario Bros. the movie. This fucker doesn’t even have a brain. Makes me feel inadequate. You know what happens to me when I go from a cool climate to a warm one? My sinuses close and I get chronic headaches. Then I start talking like Professor John Frink from The Simpsons.

[via]

“In their experiment, biophysicist Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University and colleagues manipulated the environment of Physarum slime-mold amoebas (near right). As the cells crawled across an agar plate, the researchers subjected them to cold, dry conditions for the first 10 minutes of every hour. During these cool spells, the cells slowed down their motion. After three cold snaps the scientists stopped changing the temperature and humidity and watched to see whether the amoebas had learned the pattern. Sure enough, many of the cells throttled back right on the hour in anticipation of another bout of cold weather. When conditions stayed stable for a while, the slime-mold amoebas gave up on their hourly braking, but when another single jolt of cold was applied, they resumed the behavior and correctly recalled the 60-minute interval. The amoebas were also able to respond to other intervals, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes.”

Fucking nuts.

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