An international network of/for intelligent organisms
So you want slime?
I can give you slime. I'll post physarum to anyone anywhere free of charge.
"Free?" you say, surely that's too good to be true?
Indeed it is, I said free of charge, not actually free. This is the slime mould collective, lone oat flakes do not get visited by physarum fairy. You must prove your worth if you want to join and engage with the network. Assimilation doesn't hurt, we promise and you might like it.
Tell us why you want the slime, what are your hopes and fears for slimekind? Where do you you see your slime in five years time?
A paragraph, a short story, maybe a few lines of verse, how about an expressive dance? We don't mind we just want you to communicate.
In return we will let you have your very own slime sent discreetly in a plain envelope - your friends and family need never know!
I'm a Computer Science teacher in Hungary, (IBDP - high school), with my 12th grade students we are dealing with genetic algorithms (it is a compulsory case study to investigate for one year) and -within that- the Travelling salesman's problem. We would like to use slime moulds for an experiment to reduce the problem set and use the result of the experiment in our case study investigation and build the result into our (java) program code. I asked my students to write a more detailed description why they would like to get slime moulds:
Thank you for your help. here's my students' writing:
The Travelling Salesman Problem is the challenge of finding the shortest yet most efficient route for a person to take given a list of specific destinations. It is a well-known algorithmic problem in the fields of computer science and operations research. There are obviously a lot of different routes to choose from, but finding the best one the one that will require the least distance or cost is what mathematicians and computer scientists have spent decades trying to solve. As IB (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) students in our Computer Science course as Higher Level students we have an exam session where we each discuss a topic as part of our finals. For our class it is Genetic Algorithms. Which is quite a hard but also, interesting topic. While we were researching and our teacher tried to explain and show interesting videos/phenomenons in connection with Genetic Algorithms we were introduced to Slime Mould which is a super intelligent being.We would like to get some slime mould so that we can actually experiment with it in connection with the Travelling Salesman Problem. Our experiment would look like the following. At first we would model our Case Study map and bring it to real life with the help of a 3D printer. The map looks like the following. We would like to design it in 3D and make multiple sizes/models of this. In the places of the cities we would put little oats so the slime mould would like to have a sense of that this is a point. After that, we would start to carry out our experiment. Since the case study suggest that the Travelling Salesman would start from city X we would place a piece of slime mould on X and then another piece at a different place/city. We would record the experiment with the help of some action camera so we could have some comparisons what difference would the different starting points make. Our hypothesis is that we could see some differences if we start our experiment from different cities. We could tell that because of the “small size” of our field it would not make significant difference if we start from e.g. A or M or H etc. If we had maybe field that is the size of a football field and the measurements and the distances would be accurate than over time we could see significant difference in the formation of the map. The outcome of this experiment could help us determinate what a living organism would think for the most efficient route and maybe help us get a sense of this as well and with this get an insight into Genetic Algorithms and help us with our exams, but also maybe contribute to the solution of this problem.
Hey I am just asking for later, where can you send this slime mold? Is it possible to ship it to Sweden? And also is it possible to get a couple of different slime mold specimen? By specimen I mean slime molds of the same species but different genetics.
Hi - I am the education innovation coordinator at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, working on new ways to teach about the evolution of cooperation and collective intelligence. We are eager to keep a supply of physarum for our students to experience and explore as a model species for this work. Please let me know if it is possible to adopt some for these purpose (I live in Leipzig, Germany).
We are trying to show creation of protoplasmic tubes as electrical wires by replicating papers that have done this in the past. We hope to create a sustainable energy source, however small, that comes directly from nature. If that is possible, we will then look at ways to scale this energy source from slime mold to make it usable for everyday applications.
Would be very interested in sourcing the slime mold culture that you have.
Hi Ian, my first post and it's a request for a physarum culture to get me going. I've a few ideas for testing the slimy beast to gauge the extent of it's sensory capabilities. Nothing too technical, just the designs of an enthusiastic amateur.
I've got petri dishes on order and I'm putting together a time lapse camera rig for videos.
I've been out to a couple of local woodlands in search of slime moulds with no joy, until today when I found something promising, but the plastic capsule I was using to hold the sample came open in my pocket so I may well now have a slime mould inhabiting the lining of my coat.