Slime Mold

Physarum polycephalum

Although they look like concentrated lemon jelly, these “slime molds” are actually a network of individual cells. They are technically speaking, considered to be protists.

Slime mold networks fuse together to form miniature “bags” of cytoplasm…that swarm and/or “channel” themselves as they search for material to surround and consume.

Very zombie bloblike, right?

In the case of the slime mold specimens at the MassGlobalMegaCorp Laboratories, we feed them unprocessed oats because it helps maintain low cholesterol levels.

Visual and hands-on learners will appreciate the wide spectrum of observable differences in the “branching shapes” of individual cultures; these small veins or channels of cytoplasm speak volumes about nature’s artistry.

The shape of their branching, in addition to their ability to breakdown matter using their own built-in chemistry set of enzymes offers students of all ages a way to learn about the simple-yet-complex organisms that are active members of the natural process of decomposition.