/// Designed by Amoeboid Yellow Slime Mold, Assembled in China

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital

Amoeboid yellow slime mold might seem an unlikely network architect, but scientists say the monocellular mass could be a key to designing highly sophisticated biocomputers. Remarkably, the ancient mold — Physarum polycephalum — is capable of navigating mazes in order to reach food, organizing its cells to optimize the route of its growth and “remembering” obstacles so that it can avoid them later. High-end skills for a grape-cluster slime, and abilities that researchers at the Future University Hakodate in Japan say could be leveraged to help design future electrical, data and transportation networks . Someday it might even help create mold-based biocomputers. And if that sounds ludicrous, consider this: Amoeboid yellow slime mold has already been used to nearly recreate a portion of the Tokyo railway system . “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,” researcher Toshiyuki Nakagaki told the AFP . “But slime molds, without calculating all the possible options, can flow over areas in an impromptu manner and gradually find the best routes.”

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Designed by Amoeboid Yellow Slime Mold, Assembled in China

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