Q. What do ‘real’ experimental results look like?
A. Please move your pointer (magnifying glass) over the image below to see graphical overview of growing slime in 8 pots over 10 days. Please note, perceived ‘failures’ have not been removed as we are interested in BOTH what does and doesn’t work.
Q. What if two tubes form?
A. Sometimes more than one tube forms between the electrodes which creates multiple electrical signals which added together. See below example of two oscillations mixed.
This makes measuring the change in individual frequency of oscillation (when exposed to stimuli) difficult. Multiple waveforms can be separated (by analysis) but easier to mechanically remove the addition tube(s) with (clean) disposable plastic rod. In which case the potentially usable samples increase significantly, see table below:
Q. What is Sporulation?
A. The process of spore formation is known as sporulation. This signals the slime has moved to next phase of life and often occurs due to a shortage of food and/or infection. Sporulation has been triggered in Sample ‘E’ see below. Experimental measurements can be affected by affected by sporulation so we recommend leaving the container sealed, double bagging and safe disposal.
Q. What happens after Day 10?
A. Over time the slime mould eats the oat flake and seeks new sources of food. Depending on the size of the oat flake, temperature, etc the slime should be happy for a week or so. However, the oat flake won’t last forever! We recommend safely disposing of the sample and starting fresh.
Alternatively, a single additional oat flake could be added to each electrode to provide a new food source. Please note, if too many oat flakes are added it can create multiple electrical signals which are difficult to analyse, see example below.
Q. What is Infection?
A. Infection can occur at any time for many reasons. At the first sign of unexpected growth we strongly recommend leaving the container sealed, double bagging and safe disposal.