More Slime Mould stuff.

#1
"For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that an organism devoid of a nervous system is capable of learning. Biologists have succeeded in showing that a single-celled organism, the protist, is capable of a type of learning called habituation. This discovery throws light on the origins of learning ability during evolution, even before the appearance of a nervous system and brain. It may also raise questions as to the learning capacities of other extremely simple organisms such as viruses and bacteria"
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427081533.htm
 
#2
This is a real footage of a white bloodcell chasing a bacteria, and they look pretty "intelligent" in determination - both the chaser and the escapé.



What I found interesting in that clip was that the white blood cell had it in for that particular bacteria. As you can see it chases it along when it comes up to another bacteria that didn't "flee" like the first one. Which would have made it an easier target. The "point & purpose" of a pure reactionary blood cell should be, I think, to annihilate every possible threat, and if it's an "easier target" it should go for that immediately.

I know its pretty hard to think of this as a `calculating´and fully conscious blood cell that makes calculating decisions, but it sure looks like some sort of calculating reflexes there. Maybe some expert in blood cells here can enlighten us.
 
#3
"For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that an organism devoid of a nervous system is capable of learning. Biologists have succeeded in showing that a single-celled organism, the protist, is capable of a type of learning called habituation. This discovery throws light on the origins of learning ability during evolution, even before the appearance of a nervous system and brain. It may also raise questions as to the learning capacities of other extremely simple organisms such as viruses and bacteria"
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427081533.htm
Thanks... had a very brief read of the paper, but it doesn't seem quite as startling as the cooling experiments that showed periodicity in slime moods. The authors seem quite conservative in their discussion about how they might imagine a mechanism working to explain their results. All very unexciting and rather disappointing at first glance. :-(
 
#4
This is a real footage of a white bloodcell chasing a bacteria, and they look pretty "intelligent" in determination - both the chaser and the escapé.



What I found interesting in that clip was that the white blood cell had it in for that particular bacteria. As you can see it chases it along when it comes up to another bacteria that didn't "flee" like the first one. Which would have made it an easier target. The "point & purpose" of a pure reactionary blood cell should be, I think, to annihilate every possible threat, and if it's an "easier target" it should go for that immediately.

I know its pretty hard to think of this as a `calculating´and fully conscious blood cell that makes calculating decisions, but it sure looks like some sort of calculating reflexes there. Maybe some expert in blood cells here can enlighten us.
Oh, I think if they accepted the video as showing a chase... they would say that it was a chemical mechanism... receptors on the surface of the white blood cell would sense something that allowed the cell to track the bacteria... and that the process was pretty much automatic.
 
#5
Oh, I think if they accepted the video as showing a chase... they would say that it was a chemical mechanism... receptors on the surface of the white blood cell would sense something that allowed the cell to track the bacteria... and that the process was pretty much automatic.
That doesn't explain why the blood cell didn't go for the more obvious and easier target while "he" passed it
 
#6
That doesn't explain why the blood cell didn't go for the more obvious and easier target while "he" passed it
Well, it might. Perhaps when fleeing from a predator, the prey emits some chemical signal, whereas a similar prey quietly minding its own business might emit a much weaker chemical signal. Not saying this as a fact, I have no knowledge of this topic. But as an idea it might be worth considering.
 
#7
Well, it might. Perhaps when fleeing from a predator, the prey emits some chemical signal, whereas a similar prey quietly minding its own business might emit a much weaker chemical signal. Not saying this as a fact, I have no knowledge of this topic. But as an idea it might be worth considering.
That would be quite detrimental to the bacteria, and would have been an evolutionary/mutation that would have died out first - and it would be quite "stupid" to emit some chemical signal, that would make it easier for the blood cell to find it.

And why/how would/could a bacteria "run away", like it "know" it was chased by a predator, and tries to hide - and do sharp turns, and evasive maneuvers, to avoid the blood cell?
 
#8
That would be quite detrimental to the bacteria, and would have been an evolutionary/mutation that would have died out first - and it would be quite "stupid" to emit some chemical signal, that would make it easier for the blood cell to find it.
I think that is a point of view, based on the idea that the bacteria chooses to emit or not emit something. What if the physical activity is driven by some chemical reaction, resulting in a waste product which is discarded. No choice involved, it would just be an inevitable consequence.
And why/how would/could a bacteria "run away", like it "know" it was chased by a predator, and tries to hide - and do sharp turns, and evasive maneuvers, to avoid the blood cell?
It isn't clear to me to what extent it is 'running away' as opposed to being propelled by the currents in the medium in which it resides. Though it is also possible that it detects something emitted from the pursuing cell (such as a waste product).

I'm not totally in disagreement, I'm just wary of attaching human thought-processes to what is happening almost from the outset, so that the entire description is coloured by the language used. It might be an idea to try to objectively describe what is taking place without using terms such as 'evasive maneuver' or even the words I used, 'predator' and prey' may be a step too far. I feel it is difficult to be neutral and objective when the very words used risk stereotyping what is happening.
 
#9
This is a real footage of a white bloodcell chasing a bacteria, and they look pretty "intelligent" in determination - both the chaser and the escapé.



What I found interesting in that clip was that the white blood cell had it in for that particular bacteria. As you can see it chases it along when it comes up to another bacteria that didn't "flee" like the first one. Which would have made it an easier target. The "point & purpose" of a pure reactionary blood cell should be, I think, to annihilate every possible threat, and if it's an "easier target" it should go for that immediately.

I know its pretty hard to think of this as a `calculating´and fully conscious blood cell that makes calculating decisions, but it sure looks like some sort of calculating reflexes there. Maybe some expert in blood cells here can enlighten us.
I recall recently hearing someone (don't remember if it was a Skeptiko guest or heard it somewhere else) that the sense of smell is the oldest and most fundamental sense of consciousness because chemical messengers are the first rudimentary ability to perceive complex information about objects at a distance. It would seem that touch is the most basic (as even basic particles can "touch" but smell is the next step up.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
Thanks... had a very brief read of the paper, but it doesn't seem quite as startling as the cooling experiments that showed periodicity in slime moods. The authors seem quite conservative in their discussion about how they might imagine a mechanism working to explain their results. All very unexciting and rather disappointing at first glance. :-(
Max, could you elaborate on these cooling experiments and what's exciting about them?

Or, if you've done so, just tell me where to look.

Thanks
 
#11
Max, could you elaborate on these cooling experiments and what's exciting about them?

Or, if you've done so, just tell me where to look.

Thanks
I gave some more detail... and a link to the actual paper in this post last year Sci (it's also referred to and referenced by the authors of this new study)....

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/aware-update-peer-review-complete.1324/page-24#post-38873

You can probably see from the quote that it makes things a bit more complicated than this new study referred to by the OP.

You might also still find some quotes on google from Albrecht-buehler regarding another 'intelligence' study on slime mold where they were trying to solve a design problem for the Tokyo public transport network. Obvious his work on cell intelligence is crucial, particularly as regards the potentially larger role played by repeating protien structures, like centrioles, in space-time sensory and processing tasks.

In relation to proton and electron positioning/tunneling in protein cavities, you might also think about natural selection issues raised by the E. coli adaption experiments referred to by McFadden in those two short video's I posted a few weeks ago. They shed a bit more light on what explanations are more/less likely to be required to explain these observations in organisms without neurons.

You might also think about the electrical effects re: the frogs face, from a study published by tufts uni... interview and video is still on YouTube somewhere...

There's lots of other things which tie up with this too on EM effects (bio... Summat... I think, Can't remember what it's called )
 
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