“No Brain? No Problem!”

November 19th, 2012 in Uncategorized 0 comments


 

 

 

 

 

 

…Says the slime mold before the zombie ate its brain centuries ago, forcing the whole species to adapt into its present state: brainless yet smart.

Slime molds avoid bright light. In A, there was none, so molds grew to food (yellow puncta) freely while in B and C there were differing shades of light to influence its growth, which is surprisingly comparable to the real Tokyo rail network in D. E and F show minimum spanning trees (see third source below).

Okay, the zombie part isn’t entirely accurate, BUT, these slime molds (the gelatinous amoebae also known as the protist, Physarum polycephalum) do seem to have no problem functioning without a brain. They can navigate complex mazes for food, choose healthy over less nutritious food, and determine the shortest route between points of interest – a feat that takes humans years when designing complex transportation systems. How could this be? More