Slime mold escapes

Simon Parks a microbiologist at University of Surrey, & represents & a “collective” of artists working with slime molds called the Physarum Dynamic. see http://www.unnecessaryresearch.org/

He sent me these amazing images of slime molds creeping over a book. apparently a laboratory accident of some kind – these molds try to escape the confines of the petri dishes given the chance. I would not like to fall asleep near one.

He as well as other members of the institute of unnecessary research have been keeping these as pets.
Simon also works with these ‘bio-fluids’ bacterium which appear to behave like fluids, rather than typical bacterial cultures which tend to propagate in circular growths. I am still not clear on the mechanism of this phenomena, But here is Simon’s take on it;

“This type of bacterium grows as a long chain of many thousands of individual rod-like cells. The chain is extended by the growth of individual bacteria within the chain and these generate a pushing motion. Single chains of bacteria, join together to form threads and the pulsing power is amplified. I think this is how the waves are generated with whole masses of bacterial threads uniting to become a wave that flows around objects and becomes turbulent”

In this image the growth filaments or strands seem to be encircling this opening in the medium; the circular hole that was cut in the agar gel – this looks as if it were liquid pouring through a hole. It would appear that the bacterium obeys the laws of fluid mechanics.

bio fluid

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