High school student studies slime mold smarts

ISEF finalist learns more about the single-celled blob’s simple behaviors

By Bethany Brookshire, 15:19 PM May 22, 2014

LOS ANGELES – It’s small, yellowish, and looks like scrambled eggs. It knows where it’s going, and remembers where it has been. It can run mazes and mimic the transportation map of the Japanese city of Tokyo. It’s the slime mold Physarum polycephalum.

Hannah McShea, 18, became interested in slime molds over two years ago. “I found an article on Science News,” recalls the senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. “The scientists were working with a slime mold. It...

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