It was a fungus which grew on Texan trees and for four years it had played a large role in the life of Dr Harry Matthews.
Dr Matthews had been awarded the latest of several grants for his work.
He proposed to continue the study of the slime mould cells.
‘The reason we use slime mould is because the cells are like human cells, except they grow rapidly.
‘In cancer, cells don’t stop growing. They just carry on until a growth occurs.’
The slime mould enabled him and his team to study the all-important division and multiplication of cells.
Dr Matthews and his team dealt with gallons of slime mould a day.