Python – simulated cellular organism

In 2014 Virginia scientist Eric Betzig won a Nobel Prize for his research in microscope technology. Since receiving the award, Betzig has improved the technology so that cell functions, growth and even movements can now be seen in real time while minimizing the damage caused by prior methods. This allows the direct study of living nerve cells forming synapses in the brain, cells undergoing mitosis and internal cell functions like protein translation and mitochondrial movements.



Your assignment is to write a Python program that graphically simulates viewing cellular organisms, as they might be observed using Betzig’s technology. These simulated cells will be shown in a graphics window (representing the field of view through Betzig’s microscope) and must be animated, exhibiting behaviors based on the “Project Specifications” below. The simulation will terminate based on user input (a mouse click) and will include two (2) types of cells, Crete and Laelaps, (pronounced KREET and LEElaps).

Crete cells should be represented in this simulation as three (3) small green circles with a radius of 8 pixels. These cells move nonlinearly in steps of 1-4 graphics window pixels. This makes their movement appear jerky and random. Crete cells cannot move outside the microscope slide, (the ‘field’), so they may bump along the borders or even wander out into the middle of the field at times. These cells have the ability to pass “through” each other.

A single red circle with a radius of 16 pixels will represent a Laelaps cell in this simulation. Laelaps cells move across the field straight lines, appearing to ‘bounce’ off the field boundaries. Laelaps sometimes appear to pass through other cells, however this is an optical illusion as they are very thin and tend to slide over or under the other cells in the field of view.

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