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Slime Has Memory but No Brain

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. micropage7

    micropage7

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    [​IMG]
    By leaving behind gooey deposits (left), Physarum polycephalum "remembers" where it's been.

    [​IMG]
    The cell moves by expanding a network of pulsating tissues

    In experiments with the slime mold Physarum polycephalum, scientists at the University of Sydney noticed that the life-form avoided retracing its own paths. They began to suspect that the slime was using "externalized spatial memory" to navigate.

    "The slime mold leaves behind a trail of slime everywhere it goes, which it can then detect later to recognize areas it has already been," said biologist Chris Reid.

    To test this theory, researchers placed Physarum in a U-shaped trap. On an untreated surface, 96 percent of the specimens were able to steer through the trap to find a sugar solution before the time limit of 120 hours.

    But when the trap had already been coated with slime, so that the specimens could not distinguish their own trails, only a third of the organisms reached the goal before the time limit and spent ten times longer returning to areas they had already been.

    The team's current research also suggests that Physarum can recognize and react to the trails left by other species of slime mold. (Video: searching treetops for slime mold.)

    Reid said externalized spatial memory could have been used by primitive organisms to solve the same types of problems our brains confront today—the start of the evolution of memory.

    Previous research has shown that slime mold can also solve mazes and anticipate periodic events. In light of all this, Reid concluded: "I, for one, welcome our new gelatinous overlords."

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121008-brainless-slime-goo-spatial-memory-robot-slime-science-reid/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19846365
    lyndonguitar and FordGT90Concept say thanks.
  2. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    so can we suspect Bio ram in the future?
    de.das.dude and lyndonguitar say thanks.
  3. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I dunno, 120 hours to move from one side of a petri dish to another... I'll stick with my PC133. :p
  4. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    but then again to get from 1 gb to 2gb, you only need to feed it XD
  5. lyndonguitar

    lyndonguitar I play games

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    I thought memory is stored in the brain?
  6. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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  7. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    i for one welcome our slimey overlords.

    sorry, it had to be said.
  8. OneMoar

    OneMoar New Member

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    all hail lord googa
    hail googa
    hail googa
    hail googa
    hail googa
    hail googa
    hail googa
  9. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    if im correct organic memory cells have mutch faster read and write speed then silicon?
  10. hellrazor

    hellrazor

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    I suddenly feel the need to play Starcraft.
  11. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Typical confusion of terms. Or maybe stretching a point to make it more interesting to the masses.

    What the slime mold is doing is leaving breadcrumbs where it has been.

    And I'm fairly certain that's what you do instead of remembering.

    Why can't people just talk straight.

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