I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Slime Mold teaches Japanese Scientists how to build Wireless Networks

Hey! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use that as a headline.

Slime mold may be a pain in the home, but it turns out it can teach us how to build more effective wireless networks.

Researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan have just published the results of a study into how the mold spread. The testing was based on the idea that nature would find the most efficient way to design a network. Previous studies suggested the slime could find the quickest route through a maze.

To put the idea to a further test, the researchers used a wet surface with oat flakes placed in positions which corresponded to cities in Japan. They then placed the mold, Physarum polycephalum, in the position representing Tokyo. They also used light, which inhibits the growth of the mold, to simulate the effects of natural barriers to Japan’s railway network such as mountains.

Source: Geeks Are Sexy (go read the whole thing and see the cool graphic)