The blob is capable of perceiving the stress of its fellow creatures

03 juin 2020 par webmaster
The blob (Physarum Polycephalum), a unicellular organism without a nervous system, never ceases to amaze us with its surprising capacities. It is able to memorize, solve complex problems and transmit learned information to its fellow creatures.
© Audrey Dussutour

Today, researchers are showing that they are able to perceive the stress of their fellow human beings and use this social information to avoid potential dangers. These results are published in the journal Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B.

The blob is a single-celled organism without a nervous system that inhabits moist, dark undergrowth. Scientists have just demonstrated that the blob can detect the stress of its congeners. This discovery follows a previous study that showed that blobs are able to detect the presence of their congeners in the environment. Indeed, when they feed, blobs excrete chemicals that are attractive to nearby blobs and that underlie their aggregation.

Read more (in french)

Reference :

Stress signalling in acellular slime moulds and its detection by conspecifics.

Briard L, Gourjade C, Bousquet C,  Dussutour A.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 18 May 2020. doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0470

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