The world’s smallest game of Pac-Man, played using microorganisms


Pac-Man, that most venerable of video game characters, has had a few interesting outings of late. Last time we checked, you could navigate him around Google Maps for April Fools Day but this effort, the product of micro-scenography and some Norwegian scientists, is something else entirely. What we’re looking at here is live-action Pac-Man, albeit on a scale that we haven’t ever seen before.

And that scale is really, really tiny. Pac-Man as played by single-celled creatures, called euglena and ciliates, as well as multi-celled rotifers (who hunt down the single-celled organisms), looks better than it has any right to. There’s no way to control things but why would you want to when there’s all this microscopic chaos going on.

The maze, which has been filled with a ‘nutritious liquid’, measures just 1mm thick. That’s a whole lot of nothing (until we get a new iPhone that thickness, right?) but the Pac-Man maze also serves a purpose beyond looking all retro-arcade. The maze serves to let researchers observe the microorganisms in a more natural environment, believe it or not. A petri dish without obstacles, which is how these critters are normally observed… that’s more or less a buffet for rotifers. We like this way more.

Source: via The Verge


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