A self-healing "blob" that is extremely bizarre will soon be making its way to Earth after spending some time aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The International Space Station (ISS) is home to many strange and exotic experiments as the researchers aboard the floating laboratory test the impact of microgravity. NASA launched the strange blob on the Cygnus cargo trip to the ISS last month, and the blob is actually formally named "Physarum polycephalum" - a single cell slime mold. So, why is NASA sending slime mold to the ISS?
The strange yellow mold is headed back down to Earth so science students aged between 8 and 17 can perform experiments on it. The mold is capable of self-healing and can survive dormancy through dehydration. The idea behind the tests will be to compare mold that has been experimented on in space for about a week to the mold back on Earth. Students and teachers will be looking for behavioral changes in the mold.
Audrey Dussutour, a slime mold specialist and director of research at the French National Center for Scientific Research, a partner institution in this experiment, said, "Our aim is to investigate the effect of microgravity on slime mold behavior, especially exploration behavior but also growth. But the real main objective of this project is to engage kids in interesting, exciting scientific experiments."
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