# Updates and results

This section details the awakening stage and early development of the blob. The purpose of this stage is to "wake up" the blob, which was sent in the form of a sclerotium, and make it reach a significant size by duplicating it over 8 petri dishes. This, because the protocol requires the volunteers to run the experiments over 4 experiment blobs and compare the results to 4 control blobs.

This stage isn't part of the experiment per say. It is not mandatory to record its course.

I have been attributed a strain of blob called Badhamia Utricularis (from Austria), which is mostly slow compared to Physarum Polycephalum, especially in the wake up phase. This stage should typically be done over the course of a week. It should not be tedious, as it mainly implies to play the waiting game, while ensuring the blob's environment stays clean.

Instructions for this stage can be found here (CNRS, french).

The tabs above will follow the progress of the different experimental protocols I'll be following, in due time.

Feel free to right click and open pictures in a new tab for full resolution.

# preliminary steps.

To ensure the highest reliability and reproducibility of results, all volunteers must follow identical conditions.

This implies making sure we all have an identical experimental space and use the same equipment. I will not detail these prerequisites. They can be found here (environment, CNRS, French) and here (equipment, CNRS, French).

# Day 1. 2022.04.23, saturday. 3:30pm.

# Steps.

  1. Take out two petri boxes from the refrigerator: control box no. 1 and experimental box no. 1.
  2. Cut each sclerotium (4) in half.
  3. Briefly dip each sclerotium (8) in a glass of water.
  4. Drain.
  5. Place each half of the sclerotium on the left half of the petri dish with agar base (one half in the petri dish Ctrl petri dish, the other half in the Exp petri dish).
  6. Fill the right side of each petri dish with the equivalent of one soda bottle cap of oatmeal (the cap should be full but the flakes should not stick out).
  7. Take a photo so that you can later measure the size of the sclerotia (not all volunteers will have sclerotia of exactly the same size).
  8. Place the two petri dishes in the blob-house.
  9. Read the temperature in both blob-houses (the values should be identical).

# Notes.

  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 20.1ºC

# Pictures.

Sclerotium as delivered through the mail.
Sclerotium (left) and oatmeal (right) in the control and experimental dish. dish.


# Day 2. 2022.04.24, sunday. 3:45pm

Day 2, control & experiment dish.

# Notes.

  • The first few pieces of oatmeal are covered.
  • The colour is quite more vibrant. Connections has been made between the pieces of blob. It's alive :)
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 21.0ºC

# Steps.

Considering the oatmeal isn't covered by the blob, and as per instructions, I'll give it more time before transfering it to a new petri dish.

# Day 3. 2022.04.25, monday. 6:30am

Day 3, Ctrl and Exp dish before steps.

# Notes.

  • Little change in development (although it hasn't been 24h since my last check-in)
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 19.7ºC

# Steps.

  1. For both petri dish, separate the blob in two along the H-B axis.
  2. Disregard the oldest part (on the left), as well as the oatmeal.
  3. Transfer the newest/awaken part (on the right) to the left side of a new petri dish.
  4. Add oatmeal on the right side of petri dish.
  5. I have raised the temperature inside the box to roughly 22ºC to encourage growth for a few hours.
Steps 1 to 4.
Day 3, Ctrl and Exp dish after steps.


# Day 4. 2022.04.26, Tuesday. 8:00pm.

Day 4, Ctrl and Exp dish before steps.

# Notes.

  • The old agar base (left side of picture) is starting to have a white-ish appearance. I don't suppose this is an issue since this part will be thrown away.
  • Good progress overall! Even if the blob in the Exp petri dish is still somewhat lazy... Perhaps I should spread the oatmeal over a larger area to promote growth.
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 19.4ºC

# Steps.

Identical to yesterday.

  1. For both petri dish, separate the blob in two along the H-B axis.
  2. Disregard the oldest part (on the left), as well as the oatmeal.
  3. Transfer the newest part (on the right) to the left side of a new petri dish.
  4. Add oatmeal on the right side of the new petri dish. I've tried to spread them more evenly.
  5. I have raised the temperature inside the box to roughly 22ºC to encourage growth for a few hours.
Steps 1 to 4.
Day 4, Ctrl and Exp dish after steps.



# Day 5. 2022.04.27, Wednesday. 7:30pm.

Day 5, Ctrl and Exp dish before steps.

# Notes.

  • Exp box is catching up.
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 19.3ºC

# Steps.

Identical to yesterday.

  1. For both petri dish, separate the blob in two along the H-B axis.
  2. Disregard the oldest part (on the left), as well as the oatmeal.
  3. Transfer the newest part (on the right) to the left side of a new petri dish.
  4. Add oatmeal on the right side of petri dish #5. I've added less oatmeal this time, but more evenly spread to encourage expansion.
  5. I have raised the temperature inside the box for a few hours to roughly 22ºC to encourage growth.
Steps 1 to 4.
Day 5, Ctrl and Exp dish after steps.


# Day 6. 2022.04.28, Thursday. 8:30pm.

Day 6, Ctrl and Exp dish before steps.

# Notes.

  • The blob has fully covered the right half of both petri dish.
  • It seems like less and more evenly spread oatmeal do encourage growth (which makes sense since the blob need to search for food by moving further)
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 19.7ºC

# Steps.

It is now time to duplicate the blob!

  1. For both petri dish, separate the blob in two along the H-B axis.
  2. Place the oldest part (on the left), in a new petri dish.
  3. Transfer the newest part (on the right) to the left side of a new petri dish.
  4. Add oatmeal on the right side of petri dishes.
Steps 1 to 4.


# Day 7. 2022.04.29, Friday. 8:30pm.

# Notes.

  • All 4 petri dishes are filled.
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 20.8ºC

# Steps.

It is now time to re-duplicate the blob!

  1. For each of the four petri dishes, separate the blob in two along the H-B axis.
  2. Place the oldest part (on the left), in a new petri dish.
  3. Transfer the newest part (on the right) to the left side of a new petri dish.
  4. Add oatmeal on the right side of all the petri dishes.
Steps 1 to 4.


# Day 8. 2022.04.30, Friday. 3:00pm.

# Notes.

  • All 8 petri dishes are filled!
  • Temperature in the blob-house is : 19.5ºC



# In retrospect.

  • At the very beginning of the wake-up stage, instead of setting the pieces of sclerotium arbitrarly, it seems more efficient to spread them on the same general line, at an even distance to the oatmeal, instead of setting them arbitrarily (see day 2 and day 3 pictures). In the Ctrl dish, the four pieces of blob had 'direct' access to the oatmeal, while in the Exp dish, at least two pieces were further behind. I think this explains why the two blobs didn't reach the critical size at the same time.
  • Warm temperature (~20/22ºC) and less food do seem to encourage growth.

Soon.

Soon.

Soon.

Soon.

Soon.