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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest Christian Petersen Stories

2011-05-16 19:24:39

Worm with abundant ability to regenerate relies on ancient gene to make decisions Most people don't think worms are cool. But the tiny flatworm that Northwestern University scientist Christian Petersen studies can do something very cool indeed: it can regenerate itself from nearly every imaginable injury, including decapitation. When cut in half, it becomes two worms. This amazing ability of the planarian flatworm to regenerate its entire body from a small wedge of tissue has fascinated...

2011-05-12 22:18:51

A seldom-studied gene known as notum plays a key role in the planarian's regeneration decision-making process, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. Protein from this gene determines whether a head or tail will regrow at appropriate amputation sites. Since the late 1800s, scientists have been fascinated by the planarian's amazing ability to regenerate its entire body from a small wedge of tissue. Whitehead Member Peter Reddien and former postdoctoral fellow Christian Petersen recently...

2009-09-14 15:37:11

Amputations trigger a molecular response that determines if a head or tail will be regrown in planaria, a flatworm commonly studied for its regenerative capabilities. Until now, no molecular connection between wounding and the decision to regenerate either a head or tail in planaria had been identified. Whitehead Institute scientists report this finding in the September 15-28 issue of PNAS Early Edition. Regeneration is the regrowth of part of an organism's body after it has been damaged or...