Slime mold mimics Canadian highway network (w/ video)

March 26, 2012

Queen's University professor Selim Akl has provided additional proof to the theory that nature computes.

Dr. Akl (School of Computing) placed rolled oats on a map of Canada, covering the major . One urban area held the . The slime mold reached out for the food, creating thin tubes that eventually formed a network mirroring the Canadian highway system.

"By showing species as low as slime mold can compute a network as complex as the Canadian highway system, we were able to provide some evidence that nature computes," says Dr. Akl.

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Moving forward, Dr. Akl would like to collect more examples to support his claim that nature computes. He explains, for example, that the leaf of a plant uses 99 per cent of the light it receives from the sun while the best engineered have an of only 35 per cent. Research into this area could lead to important practical applications.

Dr. Akl's study, co-authored by Andrew Adamatzky (University of the West of England, United Kingdom) is being published in the International Journal of Natural Computing Research.

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4 comments

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hemitite
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2012
Are they sure it wasn't the other way around?
David Santamaria
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2012
Nobody can say anymore that since more than 3 billion years ( LUCA ), the centillions of cells that worked together to build life as you can see it now everywhere on earth, did it thank to a practically infinite chain of coincidences, because each time,
each one of them, followed God's precise order to oneself instead of doing something stupid among the truly infinite stupid things each one of them could have have done, like who you know.
To affirm the contrary is just the pleasure to make suffer, perversion in is very definition.
Nathan_Henry
not rated yet Mar 26, 2012
humans compute thus nature computes. In fact nature invents things that will compute for it. Like the computer. I'm surprised they look for proof in slime mold.
alfie_null
not rated yet Mar 29, 2012
...the leaf of a plant uses 99 per cent of the light it receives from the sun...

Where does this value come from? I read that photosynthesis efficiency is significantly less, ranging from three to six percent. Ref: http://en.wikiped...ficiency

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