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TagEuplotes eurystomus' simple "walking" computer

Microtubule, 3D illustration. A polymer composed of a protein tubulin, it is a component of cytoskeleton involved in intracellular transport, cellular mobility and nuclear division

One-Celled Life Form Uses Early “Computer” To Stand In For Brain

Researchers found that that’s how Euplotes eurystomus controls “legs” in a sort of walking pattern

One unexpected thing that the computer has done is given us some insight into how life forms that are utterly different from ourselves manage to do things. For example, there is an analogy between the way ants think and computer programming. That helps us understand how an anthill can be organized in a very complex way without any individual ant ever seeing the big picture — or needing to. In the same way, a single-celled organism uses an “internal ‘computer’” to walk without needing a brain: Most animals require brains to run, jump or hop. The single-celled protozoan Euplotes eurystomus, however, achieves a scurrying walk using a simple, mechanical computer to coordinate its microscopic legs, UC San Francisco researchers reported Read More ›