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Scientists have created a microscopic, real life-or-death version of Pac-Man

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To study how microorganisms really work

In an attempt to better understand how microorganisms work, specifically how predator and prey microorganisms function, Norwegian scientists have designed a Pac-Man map to further their research on the subject.

In the video above, the different microorganisms can be seen darting around the map. According to a summary of the team's research at the University College of Southeast Norway, the unicellular species, which are called euglena, act as Pac-Man, while multicellular species, called rotifers, act as the ghosts. The goal of the study was to discover how euglena respond to being in a life-or-death situation when being chased by rotifers in an physical area that's less than 1mm in diameter.

To make it more accessible to the public, the research team brought on film director Adam Bartley lyslagt to create the Pac-Man inspired map and capture the gameplay that occurred with the euglena and rotifers. Iyslagt used neon-lighting and micro scenography to capture the footage, which runs just over two-minutes in length.

The Pac-Man project not only helped the team at the University College of Southeast Norway with their research, but they said that having access to this type of technology and bridging it with gaming or other entertainment avenues helps them relay their findings in a way more people can understand. They're going to focus on creating more Pac-Man-inspired levels for future projects, as well as other games.