A team of researchers has explored slime mold, intending to uncover data that may offer the ability to map the dark matter filaments that can be found within our universe. An advanced computer algorithm that is based on the fascinating creature could explore the cosmic web.
The algorithm is already quite effective as it was able to generate an advanced 3D filamentary web map from data of the positions of more than 37,000 galaxies.
Slime mold is one of the fascinating organisms that has been found on Earth, and it has served as a source of inspiration for many projects across the world.
It is a blind single-celled creature that relies on an interesting method to capture prey as it can develop and direct filamentary networks. These networks offer several advantages, and slime molds have managed to travel across the shortest part in a labyrinth with their help.
Strange slime mold could offer valuable data about dark matter
The before-mentioned filaments are similar to the web generated by gravity across the universe, as the powerful force links galaxies and galactic clusters with the help of extensive invisible bridges. Cosmic gas and dark matter can be found in abundance in this cosmic network, but it remains highly elusive.
While astronomers strived to track it down, the task is complicated by the fact that the gas is dim and hard to trace by using current technology.
The team of researchers has put the algorithm against a computer simulation of the way in which dark matter spreads across the universe, using the positions of thousands of galaxies as a starting point for the network of filaments. A 3D map was obtained, showing the web structure of the target region.
Besides the development of the algorithm, the researchers have also enhanced the light emitted by 350 quasars and managed to locate a significant amount of gas. More data can be found in a paper published in a scientific journal.