Solving challenges with evolution

Here we report bugs in the beta.
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Solving challenges with evolution

Post by wapcaplet »

Now that it's possible to directly load a challenge substrate to experiment, I have been trying to solve some challenges using only evolution. Much like the "True evolution challenge" thread, but without the rule about requiring common ancestry to a single genome:


For each challenge, I'm only using "contaminate" with a subset of the allowed cells, plus radiation. Saving and re-inserting a previously evolved genome is allowed, and adjusting any substrate settings is allowed, but no genome design.

So far I've evolved solutions to:
1 Algae
2 Algae II
4 Macrophages
9 Macrophages III
20 Harsh Conditions
21 Floaters

For some, you can just evolve a successful organism right in the challenge substrate. Algae and Macrophages are especially easy--just contaminate and wait.

For others, you need to start with an altered substrate at first. For example, in "Floaters", no simple photocytes can survive at the top long enough to evolve buoycytes. So increase light range far enough to let the photocytes grow at the bottom of the plate. Then enable buoycytes, and before long some will begin to float. Reduce the light range gradually--gradually! I mistakenly killed my first successful floater when I reduced light range too fast for it to keep up.

This feature--long tap to experiment on a challenge substrate--is one of my favorite things about the beta. It's kind of a hidden feature, though I see that one of the Macrophages challenges mentions how to use it. Perhaps it could be more prominent?
Last edited by wapcaplet on Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Solving challenges with evolution

Post by Noughtypixy »

I couldn't solve macrophage 3 until I evolved my swimmers a bit on the substrate.
beware the pixys
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Re: Solving challenges with evolution

Post by Megathosto14 »

Never don't this, it requires a lot of patient which I don't have :lol:
Killing one makes one a sinner.
Killing hundreds makes one a hero.
Killing thousands makes one a king.
Killing millions makes one an emperor.
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Re: Solving challenges with evolution

Post by wapcaplet »

Evolving challenge solutions can require a lot of patience, that's for sure. It can be hard to know what substrate settings to adjust to get the desired results.

I solved a few more since my first post:
5. Macrophages II
12. Scavenger
16. Decimation
31. Harsh Conditions II
34. Infection

Most of these were easy to evolve. The "Decimation" solution is just a devorocyte, and "Scavenger" is simply an optimized "Macrophages III" swimmer. "Infection" is an M1 virocyte that took all of 5 seconds to evolve, and only needs to be carefully placed to succeed.

The "Harsh Conditions II" winner is a "Macrophages" swimmer evolved while slowly decreasing nitrates. I found that nitrates can be reduced to about 0.2-0.3 before nitrocytes are really needed. Once a swimmer can survive a level of 0.2 fairly well, it seems safe to drop it to 0.

I've had a surprisingly hard time with Macrophages IV. The idea is to evolve an optimized version of the Macrophages III solution, but so far none of my evolved solutions to that are efficient enough. I've independently evolved 3 or 4 different swimmer designs, but none of them can reproduce in a strong enough burst to hit the goal.

Another that is more difficult than I expected is Floaters II. Getting a buoy+phago organism that reproduces isn't too hard, but they don't last long before the edge kills them. Increased salinity and reduced gravity gives them more time to multiply, but encouraging the alternating heavy/light buoys is next to impossible. I've tried meticulous use of "cell boost" to reward the genome behaviors that I want, and it does seem to help, but is tedious and slow.

Quite a number of challenges surely cannot be solved at all in this way--Maze, Moss IVF, Nervous etc. Others are highly unlikely, such as anything that requires programmed smart behavior--Scarce Conditions, Predator, Avoidance, Desert, Nanobot and so on. Some seem feasible but I don't have any idea how--Coexistence, Tip the Balance, Keep the Balance, and Sterilization are a few that come to mind.
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Re: Solving challenges with evolution

Post by wapcaplet »

Cell Lab Challenge Evolution

I did not expect to solve many challenges using evolution, but I have been single-mindedly pursuing it and solved 22 of them now (one-third of the total). Many more I think are possible, but I haven't accomplished (or have not tried yet), then still more that are N/A or very unlikely, requiring fine tuned smart organisms.

Here are the ones I have solved. No genome was designed; they are all contaminate cells plus radiation, with a modified challenge substrate. "Scratch" means I solved it with contamination cells plus evolution; the alternative is to start with a winner to a previous challenge, and evolve it toward the new substrate.

1. Algae (scratch)
2. Algae II (Algae)
4. Macrophages (scratch)
5. Macrophages II (scratch)
9. Macrophages III (scratch)
10. Macrophages IV (optimized Mac III)
12. Scavenger (Macrophages)
14. Sunlight II (photo + lipo)
15. Macrophages V (optimized Macrophages)
16. Decimation (scratch)
19. Countermeasure (Macrophages + keratin)
20. Conquering (Macrophages + devorocyte)
21. Floaters (scratch)
22. Floaters II (scratch, using density gradient)
23. Parasite (scratch)
26. Slippery Slope (scratch, no radiation)
30. Harsh Conditions (scratch)
31. Harsh Conditions II (Macrophages + nitro)
33. Slippery Slope II (Floaters II + nitro)
34. Infection (scratch)
42. Population Bottleneck (scratch)
43. Adaptation (evolved, unintended self-fertilizer)

These I think may be possible, but I haven't solved them with evolution alone (nor even attempted many of them):

3. Algae III (adhesined photos)
8. Coexistence (phago/photo cycle)
11. Sunlight (photo + flagello)
13. Seed (lipo with low split mass)
24. Sterilization(?)
25. Mosh Pit(?)
27. Sterilization II
29. Floaters III (Floaters II + nitro or SS II)
36. Infection II (virus spitter)
38. Infection III (virus spitter, no nitrates)
39. Gene Therapy
44. Paleogenetics
45. Tip the Balance
46. Keep the Balance
47. Balloons(?)

Some challenges are In-microscope challenges, not needing an organism to place:

6. Colors
7. Breeding
17. Breeding II
18. Infestation (targeted devorocyte)
28. Moss IVF (steering, no genome)
35. Maze (targeted cell killing)
37. Noncommutative viruses
49. Nervous

Then there are these I'd think are unlikely to be solved by an evolved organism, due to the required complexity, cell interdependency, or intelligence:

32. Symbiosis
40. Digestion
41. Digestion II
48. Friction
50. Friction II
51. Scarce Conditions
52. Scarce Conditions II
53. Flat Earth
54. Scarce Conditions III
55. Digestion III
56. Predator
57. Deception
58. Food Delivery
59. Move It!
60. Extermination
61. Discrimination
63. Avoidance II
64. Nanobot
65. Desert
66. Desert II

This is a fun way to play cell lab. You don't need to know anything about the genome editor. All you need to know is what the cell types are, and what some of the substrate settings mean. Instead of designing a genome, you're designing an evolutionary pathway for the genome to develop on its own.
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