Algorithm inspired by slime mold foraging

Nature has provided a great deal of inspiration for computer scientists developing search algorithms and ways to solve complicated problems with as little computing power as possible. Ant colonies, beehives, bat hunting, ...

Tuberculosis bacteria survive in amoebae found in soil

Scientists from the University of Surrey and University of Geneva have discovered that the bacterium which causes bovine TB can survive and grow in small, single-celled organisms found in soil and dung. It is believed that ...

How cells learn to 'count'

One of the wonders of cell biology is its symmetry. Mammalian cells have one nucleus and one cell membrane, and most humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Trillions of mammalian cells achieve this uniformity—but some consistently ...

Animal embryos evolved before animals

Animals evolved from single-celled ancestors, before diversifying into 30 or 40 distinct anatomical designs. When and how animal ancestors made the transition from single-celled microbes to complex multicellular organisms ...

Scientists unravel mysteries of cells' whiplike extensions

Cilia, or flagella—whiplike appendages on cells—perform diverse tasks required to keep the body healthy. When cilia malfunction, the consequences can be devastating, causing a range of problems, from blindness, to lung ...

Liquid crystal droplets as versatile microswimmers

Nature's most common swimmers are single-celled organisms such as microalgae that swim toward light sources, and sperm cells that swim toward an ovum. For a physicist, cells are simply biochemical machines, which must obey ...

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