Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

slime mold

Facing death, slime molds pack a survival kit for their offspring

From Susan Milius at ScienceNews: In the final frenzy of reproduction and death, social amoebas secrete proteins that help preserve a starter kit of food for its offspring. Dictyostelium discoideum, a type of slime mold in soil, eats bacteria. Some wild forms of this species essentially farm the microbes, passing them along in spore cases that give the next generation of amoebas the beginnings of a fine local patch of prey. Tests find that the trick to keeping the parental immune system from killing this starter crop of bacteria is a surge of proteins called lectins, researchers say in the July 27 Science.More. Slime molds are known for a sophistication that approaches that of an insect colony: Apparent intelligence can Read More ›