Q. How do I get started with slime?
A. Good first step is try growing slime mould in several containers (say 6 to 10 pots) and see how many survive over time. Look under ‘Guides’ menu for guidance. If the slime in most containers looks healthy after 4 days you are ready to try experiments.
Q. What experiments are easiest to try?
A. You could experiment with slime’s response to various stimuli like sources of nutrients. See example setup below:
The bottom of empty container (Petri dish) as been filled with (c. 3mm thickness) of warm agar which has been left to cool and solidify. An oat flake with slime growing on has been placed in the middle and surrounded by different food sources (including other oat flakes, Nytol tablets and Valeriana root cut). The container has been sealed. Which will the slime consume first?
Q. How fast can slime move?
Normally experiments take several hours but slime can move ‘fast’ when it wants, see example below. The slime has moved towards the Nytol table in under 30 minutes.
Q. What if experimental results are hard to understand?
A. Don’t worry the PhySense Team will use Big Data analysis techniques to combined the results from different people. As the size of data sets grow the random variations can be filtered out making interpretation easier.
Q. What if my experiment goes completely wrong?
A. We would still like to know, take some photos of what went wrong and share. For example, see below of an experiment which didn’t go to plan.
An early attempt to monitor air quality (for pollutants) via bio-sensors used slime on electrodes in 10 glass containers (GU dessert bowls) and Petri dish cover placed loosely on top to allow ambient air to continuously reach the slime.
Unfortunately, the agar blobs didn’t provide sufficient moisture to prevent the slime dehydrating (in unsealed containers) with summer daytime temperatures reaching 30 degrees. This ‘failure’ was stepping stone more advanced enclosures which keep the slime alive.