Slime molds are smart?
During class on Wednesday, I promised that I would post this story that I read on slime molds following the interstate system. By the way, this is related to astronomy because “astrobiology” is part of astronomy :)
The scholarly journal article is from the preprint server called arXiv – Are motorways rational from a slime mold’s point of view? They study 14 different countries and find that, in general, yes, they are rational :) The Gizmodo article (“Slime Mold and Highways Take the Exact Same Paths“) is also a great synopsis.
What I find just awesome about this is that it seems the interstate system grows pretty naturally. This makes sense because usually, big highways are the result of people (or animals) going from one place to another and finding the best route… Why break new ground? I’ve always felt that certain roads, especially in Atlanta, GA, are really just paved-over cowpaths… Only cows can meander so much in order to be lazy :)