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Slime Mold Could Lead To Better Tech

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the expensive-mold-or-cheap-trains dept.

Science 179

FiReaNGeL writes to tell us that recent observation of slime mold could eventually lead the way to improved tech like better computer and communications networks. "This revelation comes after a team of Japanese and British researchers observed that the slime mold connected itself to scattered food sources in a design that was nearly identical to Tokyo's rail system. Atsushi Tero from Hokkaido University in Japan, along with colleagues elsewhere in Japan and the United Kingdom, placed oat flakes on a wet surface in locations that corresponded to the cities surrounding Tokyo, and allowed the Physarum polycephalum mold to grow outwards from the center. They watched the slime mold self-organize, spread out, and form a network that was comparable in efficiency, reliability, and cost to the real-world infrastructure of Tokyo's train network."

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179 comments

uh.. (4, Interesting)

igadget78 (1698420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862274)

Were they high during this experiment?

Re:uh.. (2, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862360)

Dude. It's a slime mold, not a banana slug.

Linux? BSD? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862402)

Who cares? If you were really hardcore, you'd be using GNU/Turd. You aren't because open source sucks.

It's illegal, too. The Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, while its user interface and other design elements infringe on a further 65. OpenOffice.org infringes on 45, along with 83 more in other free and open-source programs. This clearly stands as proof that Richard Marx Stallman and all his free software hippie friends are terrorists whose mere existence is a threat to all of our freedoms.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862564)

You know you want to

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862578)

I've learned over the last week that I really like oral sex. I've learned
that every guy tastes differently and overall I like the taste. But. Cum is
best served fresh and hot. Cold cum is not my idea of a good meal.

That is gross. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862654)

If this is the type of discussion that usually occurs at this particular web-sight, then I'm through here.

Re:That is gross. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862710)

If this is the type of discussion that usually occurs at this particular web-sight, then I'm through here.

No! Anonymous Coward please don't go. Whatever will happen to this site without your inane and, often useless remarks. Where would we be without your constant trolling presence and incendiary flamebait one liners? Slashdot would surely fail without you whoring Karma away from logged in users since everyone's score would get so high that the mod level would have to approach 11!

Help us Anonymous Coward! You're our only hope!

/endsarcasm

Re:That is gross. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862766)

Did you know: Google Inc. was the original corporate investor in 50 Cent's career, advancing him $15,000 to produce his first album "Get Rich Or Die Tryin" (Interscope 2003). 50 Cent gave Google a grateful nod when he named his side group "G-Unit" (Google Unit), and they maintain a healthy business relationship to this day.

Re:That is gross. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862854)

thank you, BJ Covert Action!

MoD pArEnT Up!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862572)

Uppity!

-=[MPU]=- Mod Parent Up -=[MPU]=- (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862584)

Read this, read this. Mod parent up!

Re:Linux? BSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862708)

Mod down, this guy is an idiot.

Re:Linux? BSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862950)

Disregard that, I suck cock

Re:Linux? BSD? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863072)

i would love to crush the top of your skull in with a hunk of firewood

Re:Linux? BSD? (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863076)

commenting to undo inadvertent mod.

Re:uh.. (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862442)

I'd be pretty sure that they were.

    They're pretty excited that their teams of engineers have built a rail system, that a petri dish with slime mold and oats could design in 24 hours.

    On the other hand, I compared it to Kanto rail [slashdot.org] map, and while there are similarities, there are many differences too. I'm pretty sure a 2 year old can drawn the Tokyo subway map [umka.org] . It all looks like squiggles to me. :)

Re:uh.. (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862844)

No, the people who designed the tokyo metro layout [mkc-properties.com] on the other hand, were most definitely high on something.

"Let's design an extremely interconnected subway system, except that in order to get across downtown you need to change lines 3 times including once to a completely different rail system. Some areas of downtown will have a train station every half block, wheras others will be mostly empty. To balance out that inconvinience, lets make all the trains run on time down to about 3 seconds, have all the stops in at least two languages, and keep the stations cleaner than most resturaunts."

Is it green? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862282)

I don't know.

I don't care how efficient they are, (5, Funny)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862292)

I'm still not going to ride a slime mold to work.

Re:I don't care how efficient they are, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862340)

So you won't ride one to work but you'll get naked in front of it in the shower? Oh right this is /. you don't shower.

Re:I don't care how efficient they are, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862672)

Riding a slime mold is something I fantasize about quite often.

They did a similar experiment (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862304)

But after adding the oat flakes they pissed all over the experiment. This time the mold organized itself just like the New York subway system.

Re:They did a similar experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862936)

NY has a subway? I thought that was a roller coaster?

Study the mold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862306)

Why not just study the rail system then. Sounds like they got it done right?

Wait.. Cost? (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862316)

How much does the Tokyo Rail System cost, anyhow?

Re:Wait.. Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862382)

Regardless of the cost, in this era of tight credit markets, who lent that kind of money to slime mold so it could eat oats?

Slimy competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862326)

It's a sad day when our brightest computer scientists cannot invent better algorithms than slimy lowlife.

Re:Slimy competitors (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862372)

Maybe the slime mold has been evolving for millions of years and there really isn't much in the way of improvements that can be made.

Re:Slimy competitors (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862398)

It's a smart scientist who does not re-invent the wheel.

Re:Slimy competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862718)

heh. Microsoft.

Re:Slimy competitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863118)

It's a sad day when our brightest computer scientists cannot invent better algorithms than slimy lowlife.

Perhaps most sadly, some of our brightest computer scientists are slimy lowlifes [cough]Reiser[cough]

That's fine, but... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862332)

They watched the slime mold self-organize, spread out, and form a network that was comparable in efficiency, reliability, and cost to the real-world infrastructure of Tokyo's train network."

If you put it on a grilled cheese sandwich, will it organize itself into an image of the Virgin Mary?

Re:That's fine, but... (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862606)

Yes, and that's how they are going to fund the new, cheaper train network. Selling Virgin Mary cheese sandwiches, Nun buns, and Jesus-burgers (Jeezburgers).

Re:That's fine, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863220)

Would that be a restaurant or a whorehouse?

Re:That's fine, but... (3, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863160)

Sadly, in study after study, the Virgin Mary has been found to be remarkably inefficient, particularly when compared to medieval saints and or numerous Hindu gods.

The slime mold had it easy... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862344)

Wake me up when it can complete and environmental impact assessment, defeat a coalition of concerned propertyholders suing because they don't want your "electrosmog" causing cancer, defeat a slimy local developer who really wants a route changed to improve the value of his land holdings, and then cajole the low-bidding contractor into actually building the network properly....

I am, of course, mostly joking, natural systems(ants are the other one that gets mentioned a lot) have developed some quite efficient approaches to various problems. If a problem can be solved by a large number of rounds of iterative adjustment, evolution has probably solved it good and hard somewhere. That said, though, it would be a mistake to overestimate the value of having an efficient solution on your drawing board. You cannot build an efficient system without one; but it is very easy to build a downright pathological system even with one.

Slime mold, and the lawyers who represent them... (2, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862452)

natural systems(ants are the other one that gets mentioned a lot) have developed some quite efficient approaches to various problems.

Do they have a good solution for lawyers? I ask because we were talking about slime molds...

Re:Slime mold, and the lawyers who represent them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862580)

natural systems(ants are the other one that gets mentioned a lot) have developed some quite efficient approaches to various problems.

Do they have a good solution for lawyers? I ask because we were talking about slime molds...

Why do you suppose the sea has a bottom?

Re:The slime mold had it easy... (2, Funny)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862466)

Wake me up when it can complete and environmental impact assessment, defeat a coalition of concerned propertyholders suing because they don't want your "electrosmog" causing cancer, defeat a slimy local developer who really wants a route changed to improve the value of his land holdings, and then cajole the low-bidding contractor into actually building the network properly....

I would imagine that if the slime mold were forced to deal with such problems and it was large enough to do so, it would just eat them. Which actually is not a bad solution. :)

Re:The slime mold had it easy... (0)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862626)

Sorry, further study has been suspended. Turns out the slime mold mutated during the process, is now a unique new subspecies, and is protected under the Endangered Species act. The entire research facility has been declared an ecologically sensitive area, and the biologists are under strict orders not to interfere with its natural habitat.

Re:The slime mold had it easy... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862680)

I would think that there would be special allowances for creatures created in a lab.

I'm fairly certain that there are a number of unique mice and rats species used in animal testing that were developed in a lab.

If not I guess research would be considered its native habitat so to comply we would have to do research even after animal testing is abandoned.

Re:The slime mold had it easy... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862912)

In the venerable words of one F. Leghorn, "It's a joke, son." :)

Re:The slime mold had it easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863154)

"This new subway route proposal is the best choice! 9 out of 10 slime mold colonies agree!"

Would work great in goverment! (0, Troll)

mackil (668039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862346)

Since mold and slime are already there...

Fred Physarum (4, Insightful)

Drantin (569921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862348)

To think. After all these years, Fred Physarum [gpf-comics.com] is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

wrong conclusion (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862350)

the proper conclusion is that japanese transportation engineers are no smarter than slime molds

It's actually sort of creepy... (2, Informative)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862984)

The Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] for the slime mold species in question indicates that the organism actually does have some sort of primitive intelligence - it could, for example, solve mazes, and learn the pattern of a regularly reoccurring period of cold conditions (reacting appropriately). I see the stuff growing in my garden now and then... the fact that a patch of slime exhibits intelligent behavior is, I don't know, kind of weird.

what do you mean sort of creepy? (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863014)

it is LITERALLY creepy ;-)

And there is more! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862362)

One day my dog can trade in the market, generate enough income to pay for its dog food and let me retire.

Re:And there is more! (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863176)

He can certainly equal the performance of the average day-trader.

Eureka (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862386)

I knew there was a reason I was growing so much of it in my fridge...

Great! Nature at it's best. (3, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862416)

Maybe now they'll find an efficient solution to the Salesman problem. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862610)

Maybe now they'll find an efficient solution to the Salesman problem.

They already have, it's called bukkake [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862638)

Use the phone?

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862646)

I would guess not, since finding a "good" solution to TSP isn't hard at all, and nature usually doesn't bother expending 100x the resources to find the single "optimal" solution (which is practically meaningless anyways since the natural world is so dynamic. Has nature evolved the "optimal" human? If so, who is it?)

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (3, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862732)

Has nature evolved the "optimal" human? If so, who is it?

That sounds like a good poll:

-Natalie Portman
-Chuck Norris
-Cmdr Taco
etc.

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862986)

I would guess not, since finding a "good" solution to TSP isn't hard at all, and nature usually doesn't bother expending 100x the resources to find the single "optimal" solution (which is practically meaningless anyways since the natural world is so dynamic. Has nature evolved the "optimal" human? If so, who is it?)

Yeah, maybe we don't want "optimal" in all cases. Prions appear to be more stable than their non-lethal counterparts.

Re:Great! Nature at it's best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863124)

Has nature evolved the "optimal" human? If so, who is it?

I am

No. (1)

kenryd (1727522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862802)

The traveling salesman problem is NP-complete, slime molds or not. Under some conditions it can be approximated efficiently, but slime molds are not about to solve the travelling salesman problem in sub-exponential time. In any case, using a computer is much faster than waiting a few days for a slime mold to grow.

Re:No. (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863188)

We obviously need to create faster slime molds.

Somebody has to do it... (3, Funny)

Firemouth (1360899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862420)

I, for one, welcome our new slime overlords!

Re:Somebody has to do it... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862746)

I, for one, welcome our new slime overlords!

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

It's a trap (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862424)

A slime mold killed my kitten.

@

not a big deal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862462)

i came on your wife and it looked like hawaii, i don't think there was anything scientific to gain from it.

Efficency in building (5, Interesting)

RedTeflon (1695836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862470)

In college 1 of my professors told us a story... A complex built several large buildings all on the same block. They didn't install any sidewalks or walkways just grass. They waited 1 year and looked at the grass. They built sidewalks wherever there was a path in the grass. The bigger the path the bigger the sidewalk. I thought it was an interesting idea. So many times I look back and try to wonder what the engineer/designer was thinking.

Re:Efficency in building (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862616)

Frank Lloyd Wright, I believe.

Re:Efficency in building (2, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862778)

In the house tonight,
Because of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The bass goes boom like dynamite!

Yo' Wright was a Modernist!
Yeah, I know that all right?
But you can't rhyme Bob Venturi with Dynamite.

What?

-MC Lars, Hurricane Fresh

Sorry, I couldn't resist getting my postmodern laptop rap on.

Many colleges tell that story (2, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862972)

It was probably true at one of them once, and if you're building a new campus today it's not a bad approach, but it's not clear where or when it actually originated.

And if you've been around Frank Lloyd Wright buildings much, you'll hear lots of stories about how they leak unless you're really aggressive about maintenance, and if you're over about 5'6"" (167cm), you'll rapidly notice that the dude was short and didn't mind forcing taller people to duck in buildings he designed...

Re:Efficency in building (2, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862660)

They waited 1 year and looked at the grass. They built sidewalks wherever there was a path in the grass.

I saw this phenomenon as well when I was at USF and ODU back in the '80s.

In a similar theme, I worked prep at Pizza Hut in high school and early college years and was told that Pizza Hut didn't do much research on site location, but simply put stores near McDonalds, as they did extensive research. Don't know if it's true, but there always seems to be a Pizza Hut near a McDonalds...

Re:Efficency in building (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862852)

In a similar theme, I worked prep at Pizza Hut in high school and early college years and was told that Pizza Hut didn't do much research on site location, but simply put stores near McDonalds, as they did extensive research. Don't know if it's true, but there always seems to be a Pizza Hut near a McDonalds...

I'm sure there was some truth to the story, though "didn't do much research" was probably more like "looked at where the competition was as a starting point, then did their research from there".

It is very common to see fast-food or retail businesses clustered together for that very reason, and the more businesses there are the more people will be drawn to eat at that area, etc. Even if there is more "perceived competition" from other restaurants, the greater number of people overall will drive up business (in theory, any ways).

Re:Efficency in building (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862734)

This is story about Tomá Baas town, Zlín. And designer did not wait year, only through winter (to see paths in snow).

I think designer though obvious: People are bound to figure out thier shortcuts and stick to them.

You can see this all over the place: is there is sharp corner somewhere, people will not follow it and tip of L will be eventually muddy, grassless ground. It is not so huge step to say "what about building sidewalk on this spot too?"

This also makes you wonder about people who design grass square surrounded by sidewalk are suprised that people are walking throught it. It raises even more questions when they decide it is good idea to block this way by short fence (this eventually leads to setup similar to river delta) isntead of making sidewalk there. I see this right obbisce building comple near my work: there are "S" shaped paths. People, of course, walk across grass on inner edge of curve. Reaction? Not to straighten it, but rather to patch bare sports with grass growing carpet and adding 0.5m tall fence around that spots. This is kind of sad...

Re:Efficency in building (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862938)

I'm pretty sure that was Stonybrook University in New York. My mother was there at the time, and has told me about that. Of course, it could have been another instance of the same technique.

Nethack... (2, Funny)

AdamTrace (255409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862480)

My, what a yummy slime mold!

Re:Nethack... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862528)

rats, you beat me to it! :)

Re:Nethack... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863074)

Exactly. The first thing I thought of when I read the headline was Nethack.

That is quite a budget for slime mold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862492)

They watched the slime-mold... form a network that was comparable in... cost to the real-world infrastructure of Tokyo's train network.

Wow! That is some pretty expensive slime-mold, since the Tokyo train network probably cost billions. I wonder how the slime-mold was able to raise that much money.

One of there days (1)

hellraizer (1689320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862496)

we will have slime mold designing our network infrastructure,,, will they understand routing ? will the slime mold have a ccna ou mcse degree ? must be a slime mold from beyond .... evillllllll

Re:One of there days (1)

hellraizer (1689320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862554)

of course i meant "these days"

must have been fun research (5, Funny)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862500)

The next study will involve rust monsters and gelatinous cubes.

Re:must have been fun research (1)

JackDW (904211) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862604)

...followed by an attempt to create a free energy device powered by black puddings [wikia.com] .

Move Over Godzilla (1)

careysub (976506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862548)

Now the Japanese can look forward to slime molds doing their urban renewal instead of Godzilla or Mothra!

Explains a lot of anime (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862550)

Anyone who's seen old-school anime like Akira knows that Japan is doomed to being consumed by an ever-growing blob of indeterminate origin.
We now know it will start in the subways...

A Eureka Moment...almost (5, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862566)

I thought for a second we might finally have a really good way to model the complex, ever-deepening relationship that's grown up between North American politicians and their corporate masters. Then I realized there's some things even a slime mold won't do.

Re:A Eureka Moment...almost (1)

hellraizer (1689320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862600)

"I've calculated my velocity with such exquisite precision that I have no idea where I am." BRUTAL !!!!!!

Re:A Eureka Moment...almost (3, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862664)

Using slime mold to study two other kinds of slime seems either redundant or self-evident. I can't decide which.

Re: Slime Mold Could Lead To Better Tech (1)

stavrica (701765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862674)

...or not.

I sincerely hope that this wasn't someone's doctorate thesis.

There are too many such "learned" individuals out there who are incapable original thought. I wonder if this has always been the case...

Simple complexity (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862684)

It's just a fractal, people.

Intelligent Design (1)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862694)

the slime mold [...] was comparable in efficiency, reliability, and cost to the real-world infrastructure of Tokyo's train network.

That means: both have been made by intelligent designers!

Re:Intelligent Design (1)

hrimhari (1241292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863090)

...or not : )

Godzilla who? (0)

Keyslapper (852034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862698)

Giant slime mold uses Tokyo Railway system to destroy Tokyo ...

Story at 11

This is more efficient than a computer simulation? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862730)

Just curious...

The Vatican responded ... (0)

winomonkey (983062) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862740)

... saying that no, the slime mold looked more like the Virgin Mary. Pilgrims from around the world are planning on heading to the site in the weeks ahead to pay their respects before it starts to more closely resemble Elvis or the Three Stooges.

new answer to a Microsoft hiring question! (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862800)

"Uh, yes, I basically seed my coffee cup, and the pattern of the growths provides the data index for least wasted steps algorithms."

Anime! (0)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862818)

Wow, there's a plot to an Anime movie in there somewhere...

watch out for the green slime ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30862820)

... if it gets you down to half HPs you turn into a green slime.

Roll for Initiative! (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862902)

Yellow Mold is CR6 and pretty dangerous stuff. If it escaped the dungeon it could wipe out the village.

You can do the same thing with soap (4, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862956)

And its a lot less messy.

Take two surfaces (overlapping, horizontally ) (cardboard will suffice, and place straws through them (verically)where your destinations are. Submerge it in soap/water solution. Then slowly pull it out and the surface tension will find the most efficient routes between the straws.

not so smart (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30862962)

The mold didn't find the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line.

Social Computing (1)

anthonyfk (1394881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863078)

We studied something like this in my social computing university class, only it was about slime mold "solving" a maze. I never understood why that (or this) was at all interesting; the growth of the slime mold is just a brute force search for food. What you end up with is a minimum spanning tree between the food "nodes." Meh.

So what this means is... (2, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863204)

I can rent out my bathroom ceiling to an engineering research firm?

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