John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Designed by Amoeboid Yellow Slime Mold, Assembled in China

Amoeboid yellow slime mold might seem an unlikely network architect, but scientists say the monocellular mass could be a key to designing highly sophisticated biocomputers.

Remarkably, the ancient mold — Physarum polycephalum — is capable of navigating mazes in order to reach food, organizing its cells to optimize the route of its growth and “remembering” obstacles so that it can avoid them later.

High-end skills for a grape-cluster slime, and abilities that researchers at the Future University Hakodate in Japan say could be leveraged to help design future electrical, data and transportation networks. Someday it might even help create mold-based biocomputers.

And if that sounds ludicrous, consider this: Amoeboid yellow slime mold has already been used to nearly recreate a portion of the Tokyo railway system.

“Computers are not so good at analysing the best routes that connect many base points because the volume of calculations becomes too large for them,” researcher Toshiyuki Nakagaki told the AFP. “But slime molds, without calculating all the possible options, can flow over areas in an impromptu manner and gradually find the best routes.”

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work