Dandelions

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wapcaplet
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:52 pm

Dandelions

Post by wapcaplet » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:43 pm

Since I needed a break from banging my head against the half-dozen or so "very difficult" challenges I haven't solved yet, I spent some time "gardening". Here's a substrate with three seeds on it:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5xa4mzzk3qztq ... trate?dl=0

The species doesn't live very long, but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out and figured it was worth a share. I set out to make a kind of dandelion that could grow upwards to get more light. That part works, but only because I cheated and used some buoycytes to lift the heavy lipocyte head; even with max adhesion stiffness, the stems are too weak to hold much weight even under nominal gravity. I'm satisfied with how well the nutrient priorities balance out during its growth--it usually manages to reach full height before the top matures and splits.

A couple other ideas I had, but so far haven't succeeded with:
  • Make the head split into a bunch of seeds that spread around and settle down before growing again, like the big clump of wafting seeds real dandelions produce. Here, each top just produces 1 new spore, with a short-lived flagello to spread it. Since it only goes to the left, this can lead to an amusing wall-climbing behavior.
  • Re-use the dead stems after the head pops. I thought of using glueocyte seeds that would land and eat them before producing a new organism, but they just ended up getting stuck to everything. Some attempts with senso/stemo pairs almost worked, but I had trouble tuning them to only stick after landing.
For a while I've been pondering how to produce "soil" - a mass of several species and/or dying cells that is symbiotic and self-sustaining, and could fill the bottom half of a plate with gravity turned on. Plants with glueocyte or devorocyte roots could use the soil as a food source, support to hold them upright, and a platform to get them closer to a light source that only reaches the top of the substrate. The easiest way is a pile of phagocytes living on a plate of high nutrient density, but I thought it could be fun to include earthworms, various coexisting soil bacteria, or big blue lipocytes to simulate water droplets. This experiment was kind of a step in that direction, in that it leaves behind a lot of "dead" photocytes that accumulate at the bottom of the plate. Now to design something to eat them instead of letting them go to waste :-)
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Nayus
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Location: Argentina

Re: Dandelions

Post by Nayus » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:43 pm

It reminded me of sea plants or something like that. One little suggestion is to make the lipocyte on the top to split in two lipocites, the actual egg and another of the same lipocyte. That would make each dangler reproduce multiple times instead of just one. Your other ideas sound good. I want to see them :)
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bwisialo
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Re: Dandelions

Post by bwisialo » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:52 pm

Another suggestion: include Keratinocytes in the stalk, so the the plants don't stick together.
amor fati
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bwisialo
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Re: Dandelions

Post by bwisialo » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:03 pm

Here is a little modufication. Keratinocytes, and mirroring to get reproduction to the left and right.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5e76c8e7zkos ... trate?dl=0
amor fati
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wapcaplet
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Re: Dandelions

Post by wapcaplet » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:02 am

Great tips, thanks! The keratinocytes really help with getting the first few offspring to slide down and stick properly to the bottom.

I got the yellow tops to persist after spitting out a seed, and had some success with using a heavy buoycyte to pull the new seeds down so they're more likely to adhere to the bottom:
dandelion-with-seed.png
dandelion-with-seed.png (8.03 KiB) Viewed 2744 times
wapcaplet-dandelions2.substrate

It took some fiddling with nutrient priorities so the gluocyte sucks the buoycyte dry before sticking to the bottom. The first few new seeds embed neatly, but it doesn't take long for it to become a big mess, kind of like real dandelions in that way. Hilariously, sometimes the flagello-seed will lop off the head of a neighboring plant, causing its top to float up:
dandelion-mess.png
dandelion-mess.png (25.28 KiB) Viewed 2744 times
This might make a good seed-spreading mechanism too--flower tops that burst into a bunch of floaters, drifting in the nonexistent breeze before dropping their seeds... I have been thinking about how to simulate a wind-pollinated plant, but with no simulated wind, it could be tricky. Neurocytes and flagellos perhaps? Anyway, this one has been a good learning experience. Thanks again for the feedback!
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bwisialo
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Re: Dandelions

Post by bwisialo » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:32 pm

Hmm... Just reopened the substrate I posted and it's a mess. It had been working well, but I must have changed a light setting or something.
amor fati
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