Amoeba Flashmob

June 27th, 2010 by

Video of amoeba that sync their behavior. Found at YouTube from tglab via Futurity (along with the following explanation, then the video):

What drives bees to swarm, birds to flock, and amoebae to clump? Scientists have long wondered what is happening at the cellular and molecular level to bring about collective behavior.

Is there a secret drum major, a leader among the group setting the pace and instigating participation? Or is it that organisms and cells already are moving rhythmically but independently and then find themselves provoked into harmony by an external beat?

A group of scientists seeking the answer to the mystery of collective motion has found strong evidence pointing to a third possibility—collective behavior can arise in cells that initially may not be moving at all, but are prodded into action by an external agent such as a chemical.

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