The research below was put together by a friend, Daruchan, who shares my interest in slime mold.
This is a story about the Blob, also known as slime mold.
Is it an alien who came to earth to end humanity?
Or a space traveler who came here to start a (new) life?
It is an enigma wrapped in mystery…
So far, we know that it is an acellular organism.
It’s not fungal, though it thrives between two vegetative states, amoebae and plasmodia.
It propagates via growth and nuclear division without cytokinesis.
It has about 720 different sexes to ensure it can find an appropriate mate for future generations.
It cannot see or hear.
But it moves and shows an incredible ability to read environmental clues.
It changes its shape and behavior to survive in its habitat, shadowy and damp places.
It is obvious that it possesses some primal intelligence and senses, but does it feel?
So far the Blob’s cleverness has not been decoded.
Though since its reappearance as a part of a wacky scientific project in Japan in 2000
and after a sci-fi movie career that took the art and technology communities by storm,
the Blob became a science super star.
It’s helping scientists at the International Space Station study the influence of microgravity or near zero gravity on living organisms.
It’s helping astronomers map the dark matter of the universe.
It’s been used for disease modeling simulations.
Do you want to know the time?
Do you care about your heart?
Try wearing a slime mold powered “smart” watch.
The blob inspires Airbus’ Future project of airplane design grounded in biomimicry.
For the game lovers,
take a chance at
slime mold chess.
Or listen to slime music.
The Blob inspires the “We” global community.
You can join a “Slime Mold Collective.”
It’s an international network for intelligent organisms.
Check out the “Thinking Toys for Commoning” project.
Scientist attempts to seed Conway’s Game of Life using the Blob.
All these different experiments try to answer fundamental questions.
Who is in control?
Does free will exist?
Who or what controls the possibility of immortality?
The “game of life” is on.
Sit back and enjoy the journey.
2 thoughts on “The Game of Slime – Guest Post by Daruchan”
A really fascinating post. Never even thought much about it propagating without cytokinesis or rogue weaponisation of that.
We’ve been here a couple of times already, courtesy of Hollywood. The first was way back in the Fifties, when I was a pimply kid with a crush on sci-fi horror movies. My flesh still crawls when I recall Chuck Russell’s nightmarish The Blob, with Steve McQueen pitted against an extra-terrestial adversary billed as “Living Slime that Conquered the Earth!” Tinsel Town took another swipe at the same theme in 1988. Now it seems celluloid fiction could soon morph into ghastly reality – though I doubt as ghastly as the original Blob. Seventy years on, I can still feel the goosebumps.
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