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Without a mouth, legs or brain, it eats, moves and learns. It was here millions of years

The goal of the experiment is to observe the effects of weightlessness on microorganisms and to compare the behavior of samples on Earth with that of those sent into space.

Mexico City, August 12 (RT). – that International Space Station (EEI) is preparing to receive an atypical visitor: the Vesarum polycephalum, known asViscous liquidIt’s a delicate, yellow-colored organism that has fascinated biologists for years strange properties And that on August 10 it entered orbit to be part of an educational experiment led by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

The “dot” appeared on Earth more than 500 million years ago. Since its discovery, it has caused many headaches in the scientific community, because it lacks a mouth, legs, and brain, but is able to eat, grow, move and even learn. Although it was initially considered a fungus, in the 1990s it was removed from that kingdom and incorporated into the group of amoebas to which amoebae belong.

The “blobs” sent to the ISS are in a dormant state called sclerotia (which the body adopts so they don’t die from dehydration), but as of next fall they will be “revived” with a little water. In parallel, hundreds of students between the ages of 8 and 17, under the direction of the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), will reproduce the experiment on Earth. Your teacher will receive a set with between three and five hardenings and a learning guide to implement the project.

Physarum polycephalum invokes some scientific theories, so the experiment is expected to lead to many class discussions. Photo: French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

The primary goal is to monitor the effects of weightlessness on microorganisms and to compare the behavior of samples on Earth with that of those sent into space.

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“Today no one knows what his behavior will be [situación de] Microgravity: In which direction would it move, if it would take the third dimension upward or indirectly, said Pierre Ferrand, one of the architects on the project and professor of life and earth sciences at the National Center for Space Studies.

Blobs specialist Audrey Dussautour, of the Center for Research on Animal Cognition in Toulouse, southern France, said she was “excited to see if it would evolve into stilts.”

the Vesarum polycephalum It calls into question some scientific theories, so the experiment is expected to lead to many class discussions.

“For example, in cell theory, which is one of the oldest cell theory, each cell is said to divide into two cells. With ‘point’, this doesn’t work, because it is a single cell that grows without dividing,” Ferran explained, adding that ‘while Most organisms use two sexes, the “dot” has more than 720! It is a “drawer” organism that tells us that life consists of many origins.”

Audrey Dsoutour, of the Center for Research on Animal Cognition in Toulouse, southern France, noted that she was “curious to see if it would evolve into stilts.” Photo: French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

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