Museum of Science and Industry


Think human beings are the only ones that can calculate and create efficient road systems? Think again! It turns out that slime molds aren't half-bad at it. An international team of scientists recently analyzed slime mold "roads," created by putting bits of food representing major cities on fourteen countries' road maps and letting the slime molds do their thing. In trying to access the food sources, the slime molds essentially "calculated" the shortest routes, and created models that often mimic our human-built highway systems!

Surprisingly, slime molds are not the only brainless builders that can “calculate” the shortest paths to connect things. Watch bubbles (and a mathematician!) at work:

 

Image: Andrew Adamatzky/University of the West of England

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Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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