Watch Unicellular Organisms Playing Microscopic Game Of Pac-Man

Posted: Jul 5 2016, 4:31am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Watch Unicellular Organisms Playing Microscopic Game of Pac-Man

Scientists have made the impossible possible. Now unicellular organisms can play their individual roles in a microscopic game of pac-man.

While scientists often show injustice towards animal species when it comes to science experiments, as the saying goes “anything for the sake of science”.

Some of the experiments they conduct are pretty cool though since they utilize the natural repertoire of the organisms in a game format. A good example of this is a teensy-weensy game of pac-man where the predators and the prey are both unicellular organisms. 

The pac-man maze consists of small channels that contain a nutrient-dense fluid. Within these wormholes swim euglena and ciliates (which are the real-life pac-man).

Also there are a few multicellular rotifers which resemble the meat-eating ghosts. However, this game of pac-man contains no power-up pills in the form of yellow pellets. It is just a relentless quest of the hunter and the hunted.

The maze was constructed and caught on video camera by the help of a filmmaker named Adam Bartley. Pac-man conjures up memories of the 80s, that greedy and materialistic decade.

By making a microscopic version of the addictive computer game with real-life small organisms in place of the moving characters, the researchers are spreading awareness regarding their science experiments. 

There is a more realistic function of this otherwise frivolous game of pitting one organism against another too. These organisms usually engage in their game of cat-and-mouse in circumstances in the field that are very different from how they behave in a petri dish.

The microscopic maze is a much more natural setting than the form of existence in a petri dish or a test-tube. The maze was constructed in neon colors all the better to make things that went on in it visible to the human eye. That it was all caught in the form of a video clip speaks volumes about the ingenuity of both the scientists and the filmmaker. 

Sources: University College of Southeast Norway via The Verge

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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