Welcome to a Scintilla of Playful Musings

Welcome to my new blog, noos anakainisis, translated literally as mind renewal. The primary obsessions are neuroscience, computation, information, structure, form, art and history of science. Some environmental, political, and technological developments will also be included.

I hope your neurons are sufficiently stimulated...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Like the waves in a BZ Reaction (Belousov-Zhabotinsky), a lawn of starved Dictyostelium cells is imaged using phase contrast microscopy. Cells signal via spiral waves of cAMP, and population territories form with a fruiting body in the center of each. To visualize the spirals, use has been made of the fact that when the cells experience a high concentration of cAMP surrounding them, they elongate (called polarization). When that happens the optical density of the cells changes which can be captured by the specific type of microscopy used:

A model based on physarum:

A series of experiments testing maze-solving in dictyostelium:

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