OpenWorm Milestone as Artificial Worm Wriggles to Life

Saturday, December 21, 2013

 Artificial Life
The Open Worm project aims to build a lifelike copy of a nematode roundworm entirely out of computer code. Now the creature's creators have added code that gets the virtual worm wriggling like the real thing.

The open-source OpenWorm Project has had a major milestone,creatingt an artificial life form from the cellular level in silco.

"That's a simulated worm body with muscle segments that resemble an actual C.Elegans," project advocate John Hurliman told New World Notes.

"Each muscle segment can receive a contraction signal, and although the current setup just has a hardcoded algorithm driving the muscles, its movement closely resembles published literature on how C. Elegans swims."

OpenWorm Milestone as Artificial Worm Wriggles to Life

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"The core algorithm for the physics simulation is called PCI-SPH, which is a somewhat advanced but well understood particle simulation method. The main source of complexity is the architecture: going from brain firing signals to muscle contractions to moving particles around."

The Open Worm project started in May 2013 and is slowly working towards creating a virtual copy of the C. elegans nematode. This worm is one of the most widely studied creatures on Earth and was the first multicelled organism to have its entire genome mapped.

The simulated worm slowly being built out of code aims to replicate C. elegans in exquisite detail with each of its 1,000 cells being modelled on computer.

The next steps for OpenWorm are to continue working on performance and hook up a synthetic brain, based on the worm's connectome.

Early work on the worm involved making a few muscle segments twitch but now the team has a complete worm to work with. The code governing how the creature's muscles move has been refined so its swaying motion and speed matches that of its real life counterpart. The tiny C. elegans manages to move around in water at a rate of about 1mm per second.

SOURCE  New World Notes

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