The Slime Mould Collective

An international network of/for intelligent organisms

Hello people! I found this site after having seen Heather Barnett's TED Talk on the powers of slime moulds (a really interesting one too!) and I've now decided to experiment with this organism as a part of a school project. I was particularly interested in its ability to memorize - as far as I know it uses its own slime to "detect" old paths that have proven "non-optimal" so to say. And so, I've chosen to examine, in an experiment, whether or not it consider taking a longer path to the specified nutrient source, given that the "optimal" path is covered with its own slime. What do you guys think, does this seem viable? :) Any feedback whatsoever is hugely appreciated! 

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That seems like a good idea. If you grow them on filter paper rather than agar you could lay out overlapping strips and be able to move around pieces of used path to see if it's actively avoiding them.

That sounds brilliant! Thanks!

 That sounds like an excellent experiment, and a top-rank science project! I'm actually really interested to see how this comes out. Please let us know the results!

Something to contemplate would be how you might work out if it's simply the polysaccharide slime trail they detect or whether other signalling molecules are involved.

Have you done the experiment? How did it go, or how is it going?

BTW, I didn't mention it before, but I got interested because of Heather Barnett's TED talk, too!


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