Macrophages III

Some challenges are hard :). Here we can discuss their solutions. Please find the thread for the appropriate challenge or create it if it doesn't exist.
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Macrophages III

Post by Nayus » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:06 am

Macrophages III

Difficulty: Undergrad

Progress: Unlocks gene Lipocyte and further challenges

Description: We are going to try to use your new cell, the Flagellocyte, for this challenge. This cell can not gain energy from the environment, but it can swim! Note that this cell immediately dies if attached to another cell such that the flagellum is obstructed.
The viscosity of this substrate is higher than in the previous Macrophages challenges. Can you nevertheless make a species multiply to 420 cells?

Win Conditions: Insert 10 Cells or less and get 420 or more cells.

Hint: To solve this challenge you will need your organism's life cycle to include three different modes.
Ticking Contaminate with random cells in experimental mode and running for a little while might give you some ideas on how to solve this challenge.

Have mode 1 split to mode 2 and 3.
Have mode 3 split to 3 and 1.
Let mode 1 and 3 be Phagocytes and mode 2 Flagellocyte.
Tick Make Adhesin for mode 1.
Note that this is one among many different ways to solve this challenge.

Solution: Any decent Basic Swimmer should do the job

Record Solution: ?
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Re: Macrophages III

Post by wapcaplet » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:42 pm

This is one of several challenges that can be solved by evolving a species directly on the substrate. Even if you don't manage to solve it with evolution alone, you may find that evolution gives you ideas for swimmer designs that you might not consider otherwise.

The first step, as with any challenge, is to develop a species that can survive, reproduce, and populate the substrate. To do this with evolution, long-tap on the "Macrophages III" challenge to open the substrate in experimental mode.

Notice these substrate properties - they affect what kind of cell can live on it:

- medium viscosity: flagellocytes can swim effectively
- high nutrient rate: phagocytes can eat them to survive
- no light: photocytes are of no use

To begin brewing a new species from your primordial soup, you will want phagocytes and flagellocytes, so scroll down and enable only those two cell types. Disable photocytes - they are no use.

Now, tick "Contaminate with random cells" - this will add random phagocyte/flagellocyte genomes, and keeps adding them until we turn it off. For this challenge, it helps to leave it turned on until you get an organism that can survive.

Next, turn Radiation up slightly, to around 0.010 (about 1/9 of the total slider width). This allows the random genomes to develop further random changes as they grow and split, giving the population a great diversity.

Turn up the temperature to "Incubate" now. If you watch the cell count in the substrate settings, you should see it vary from 50-100 for a while - this is the randomly contaminated cells being placed (80 at a time) and mostly dying off in a short while. If you watch the cells in the microscope, you will see lots of phagocytes and flagellocytes appearing, scattering, and mostly dying.

However, within a few moments, you should see the cell count jump up, past 150, perhaps near 200. In the microscope, you may see a sudden burst of similarly-colored cells. Something is alive in there! Turn the temperature back down to "Observe" to see what's happening. You should see an organism thriving, reproducing and making lots of new cells. That means it's time to turn off "Contaminate with random cells", and let the new organism take over. Saving your substrate is also a good idea now.

You may wish to reduce radiation slightly, or even turn it off completely to see what this new organism is like before it mutates further. It will probably have several strange-looking forms and lots of obvious inefficiencies, but it may surprise you how easily they survive anyway. They evolved here, after all - the environment gave them no choice but to fit into it.
macro3a.png (7.66 KiB) Viewed 1277 times
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macro3c.png (6.22 KiB) Viewed 1277 times
There is some chance this new organism can solve the challenge with no further changes, but you are more likely to get a stable, strong population if you evolve them for a while longer at a fairly low radiation level (0.005 - 0.010). You will see some of the complicated, wasteful behaviors become more streamlined; instead of expressing lots of different modes, many of them wasted, genomes will tend towards using a few of the most efficient modes.

Once your species can maintain a strong population of 300 cells or more, turn off radiation completely for a while to narrow them down to a handful of the best genomes. Pick some of these off the microscope and save them for use in the challenge. Don't forget to save your substrate too!

In the challenge itself, you only need to reach 420 cells. With your winning genome, spread your 10 initial cells across the substrate, placed directly on top of food bits, before observing or incubating. With luck, the sudden population burst will be enough to complete the challenge. And if not... evolve your swimmers a little more, or evolve a totally new swimmer!
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