Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

December 30, 2011

Yucky Slime may be what is needed to make the next breakthrough in Biocomputing

Filed under: Computer Related — Suramya @ 11:05 PM

According to Toshiyuki Nakagaki, a professor at Future University Hakodate the lowly slime mold that most of us associate with gym showers and broke college students may be what helps us make the next major breakthrough in Biotechnology and computer algorithms.

Basically, Physarum polycephalum, or grape-cluster slime which looks like mayonnaise when looked at without a microscope has the ability to organize its cells to create the most direct root through a maze to a source of food. During experiments the research team successfully managed to get the molds to form the pattern of a railway system quite similar to the railroad networks of the Kanto region centering Tokyo. If this can be harnessed then we can use the networks in future designs of transport systems. The best part is that the networks created are resistant to unexpected stimulus so if used in real world applications that would make them resilient and fault tolerant.

He says slime molds can create much more effective networks than even the most advanced technology that currently exists.

“Computers are not so good at analysing the best routes that connect many base points because the volume of calculations becomes too large for them,” Tero explained.

“But slime molds, without calculating all the possible options, can flow over areas in an impromptu manner and gradually find the best routes.

“Slime molds that have survived for hundreds of millions of years can flexibly adjust themselves to a change of the environment,” he said. “They can even create networks that are resistant to unexpected stimulus.”

Research has shown slime molds become inactive when subjected to stress such as temperature or humidity changes. They even appear to “remember” the stresses and protectively become inactive when they might expect to experience them.

Sources: Yahoo News & Engadget

– Suramya

1 Comment »

  1. […] and Light respectively. Similar to that we also have Bio Computers which use DNA to store data and slime molds to create computational chips. Folks over at the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the […]

    Pingback by Creating a computer using mushrooms « Suramya's Blog — May 3, 2024 @ 5:45 PM

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