The Slime Mould Collective

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! 

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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:

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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.

Hello!

I am a New Media art student at the College of Visual Arts and Design in North Texas. I am interested in cultivating Physarum for a project where the slime mold will actively grow across a 3D printed sculpture, becoming apart of the piece entirely. In other words, I’m making slime mold homes. They will only be cultured when they’re on view, so I think a single envelope will suffice. I want them to grow on a few separate sculptures at the same time under the same conditions, essentially mimicking a slime mold neighborhood! I was also thinking of dipping my amorphous sculptures in a layer or two of an oat mixture so that the whole surface becomes food for our jolly yellow friends. Any help for this project would be much appreciated!

Best,
Connor

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.

Dear All, 

Im right now in Georgia Tiblisi. Travelling by bicycle. 

In the next months i will experiment with mycelium as a building material. I m experimenting at home (in a Flat). 
Generally im really interested about microorganism, fungus, slime mulds ect. its just so impressive how they manage the health on the planet. I like to cocreate with them and give them more attention, and tell other people about them which are not really aware of them. 

I like to hang out with physarum polycephalum, make some music for him and recognize how he s living :) I will make shure that he has enough food and humidity! 

how you thought about to share the slime ? 

best MALU

There is a nature sanctuary nearby that just posted on Facebook that there is slime mould growing along the trunk of a tree along a path close to the house. My kids and I are excited to go and find this organism this weekend. We have recently discovered how awesome slime mould is, and would love to grow and feed our very own!

Hi all, in the last year I've started growing mosses at home. I tried some lychen as well, but those guys don't like being indoor so much. :s
recently I've been learrning more about the awesomeness that is slime moulds and would be keep to have them join the family of non-verbal companions. When I was confident I know that I can keep them healthy I'd be keen to start playing(experimenting) with them to see how they act, mainly interested in their potential to learn and share informagtion. Which sounded insanely cool when I heard about it. xD

Hi, I'm a scientist from Italy! I'm actually new to slime moulds, that have been suggested by a bioinformatics friend of mine when I asked for suggestions about an educational program. With some collegues, we are planning to organize some activities with local underprivilaged schools and slime mould looks like a very easy to grow system. Initially, we will grow slime mould and have fun with oat flakes, but then I would like to do some maizes and let the kids decide their own experiments.

I don't know if this offer is still valid, but could I please have some?

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