Friday, 26 July 2013

Getting a Head: How Worms Regenerate Lost Tissue

The mystery of why some animals can regenerate body parts while others cannot has long puzzled scientists, but three new studies have brought the issue to a head.

Three different research groups studied why some species of flatworms can regenerate entire heads and tails after being cut into pieces, while other species of worm only partially regenerate their body parts. By activating a single gene in the cascade of signals involved in regeneration, the researchers restored the worms' ability to grow new heads.

"In flatworms, you can cut out a single piece from any part of the worm, and somehow, magically, it turns itself into a worm," said molecular biologist Jochen Rink, who led one of the studies. The question is, "Why can some animals regenerate while others can't?" said Rink, of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails