Science: the blob, this “extraordinary phenomenon” that fascinates scientists


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A single-celled species living in the undergrowth, the blob is increasingly arousing the curiosity of scientists.

Its full name is “Physarum polycephalum”, but it is more common to call it simply “blob”. This strange creature, which has lived in the undergrowth for at least a billion years, is of increasing interest to scientists. “It is the largest single cell that we know “, explains Jean-Christophe Batteria, science journalist from France Télévisions. “It is neither a plant nor an animal, it can double its size every eight hours and even escape from a box when locked up.”

If his name was given to him in reference to the film Planetary danger (The Blob, in original version), released in 1958, the blob is not a ferocious monster, wishing to devour everything in its path. But he is still very cunning. “Scientists have shown that he never passed the same place twice, in order to increase his chances of finding food, says the journalist. Two blobs can also join together to form a single cell and exchange their knowledge. “ And to add: “It is an absolutely extraordinary phenomenon.”

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