Friday, April 28, 2017

Our Friends The Slime Mold Become Life Of The Party

Dictyostelium disconideum start to explore their environment and find their oats.
These guys have found four oat flakes and are really starting to grow.

As the slime mold reproduces, it will aggregate and show behavior similar to a more complicated organism in the way it sources its food. But each cell is identical and none of them possess any distinguishing characteristics, yet somehow they form a colony that works together for the greater good.

The slime molds cells are "organizing from below." Sort of how humans formed early cities -- showing emergent adaptability to their environments. The veins of the mold above resemble a city seen from the air.

Steven Johnson commented on this pattern of nature in his book Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software. I highly recommend it.


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