Slime mold Andi’s Christmas special

In this festive and seasonal science experiment, Andi gets to show its likes and dislikes for differently flavored agar substrates.

Every agar field has one or more oat flakes on it
Initial experimental design
End of the party, but the molds are still going strong
Close up of Andi and a green mold
Andi and an unlucky white mold

The white, green, and bright red fields are made of agar with ‘vanilla powder’, sourced from an Asian supermarket. In addition, the bright red agar contains the colorant E124 and the green agar contains E102 & E133.

The dark red fields are made of pure, unvanillated agar mixed with the syrup of cherries on syrup. Which according to the label contains cherries, sugar, and water.

Andi crawls over the white, green, and bright red agar with abandon, but initially avoids the dark red agar. Does the sugar draw too much liquid from its body? Later, it will navigate these patches just fine. Maybe by then the surface of these patches has changed by drying out, or by being overgrown with microscopic organisms.

Some three days into the experiment, uninvited moldy guests arrive who are made to feel welcome at the table. The green mold is very taken with the dark red, sugary, cherry syrup substrate; the white mold likes oats. Andi tries to eat the dinner guests; it engulfs the green mold first, but gets deflected. The white mold however is not so lucky, it gets eaten, and eaten again.

There must be some sort of Christmassy moral vignette in this, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

Talk with slime mold Andi

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Professional problem solver. Travels as a black cloud. All creep, no sleep. Post 00! explains how you can talk with slime mold Andi

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