Author Topic: Microorganism 'sensing'  (Read 1923 times)

Offline Elite

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« on: April 23, 2006, 11:25:58 AM »
How do microorganisms 'sense' their surroundings, if at all?

I've seen some swim around bouncing off each other, do they just go forward until they hit something? How do they find food? If they do hit something how do they know what it is?

What about different microorganisms, do they use different methods of moving and sensing?

What about microorganisms that don't move using flagella, do they just sit around until they hit food?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 11:26:34 AM by Elite »

Offline Numsgil

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 02:05:55 PM »
I know a little about microorganisms:

The primary method of both communicating and sensing is chemical.  Smell I guess would be the closest human analogy.

There are different movement methods.  Some use a single flagella.  Some use a couple.  Some use pseudopods ("fake feet") to drag themselves around.  Cilia are also popular.  They're like a thousand tiny little oars all rowing in unison.

Most stationary microorganisms are grazers.  They either are dining on sunlight or munching on something that comes to them.

Microorganism collisions are rather rare, and usually involve either post-reprouction (the cells are still somewhat connected) or phagocytosis (eating another cell whole).

Offline Endy

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 05:41:11 PM »
Are there any simulators out there, that deal with smell/chemical diffusion, with code we could use?

I'd imagine the movement of gasses/fluids/chemicals would be difficult to program; but it'd make DB alot more realistic if we had them.

Offline Numsgil

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2006, 05:48:33 PM »
There are some fluid simulations that use Navier-Stokes (I think it's called) dynamics for video game smoke and effects like that.  Generally such simulations use grids, and are extremely computationally heavy.

I think this falls into the "Env Grid" for us.  I think I have alot of the computational problems out of the way.  Just need a free weekend to try it out.

Offline Welwordion

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2006, 07:26:29 AM »
I remember seeing something with ants or turtles that used smell, basically it was some kind of gradient, like a cloud that slowly expands and evaporate, so to say it converted the empty space around it into smell but at the same time lost strength. the ants then could find out in which direction the gradient was greater.

Offline Numsgil

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2006, 08:56:19 AM »
That's a good idea.  A gradient vector bots can sense.

Offline Welwordion

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Microorganism 'sensing'
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2006, 09:21:48 AM »
Ah I see I had starlogo in mind http://education.mit.edu/starlogo/  however that was still based on dicrete fields ^^.
Well, does not matter  many good ideas come from wrong associations