Immerse(#2): Coffee under the Microscope

Caffeine is best known as a stimulant of the central nervous system in humans – in other words, it keeps us from falling asleep. One of the main methods by which it achieves that is by inhibiting the action of adenosine (by preventing it from bonding with its receptor). Adenosine is the chemical that induces feelings of drowsiness in humans. Existing literature has established that adenosine also plays a major role in the formation and motion of the slime mold aggregate. A natural question to ask, then, is whether caffeine could play a similar inhibitory role in slime molds – and this is precisely the question that Dr Baskar’s work answers.

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