If you’re going to study the behaviour patterns of unicellular protozoans and predatory pseudocoelomates in a microscopic 3D environment, you might as well have a little fun with it.
Researchers at the University College Southeast Norway led by Professor Erik Andrew Johannessen of the Institute of Micro and Nano System Technology, created the “Mikroskopisk Pacman” project (thanks, Bengt!) for two reasons. First off, using nano-structures to create a three-dimensional environment to study how euglena and ciliates (Pac-Man) and rotifers (Ghosts) behave is much closer to nature than a two-dimentional petri dish. The maze, less than one millimetre in diameter, better resembles the tiny canals and structures such creatures encounter in the wild.
And secondly, it’s just the sort of cool project that will raise awareness of the science. I’m certainly more aware now. You?