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Latest Michael Levin Stories

Tadpoles Able To See With Eyes Transplanted Onto Their Back
2013-02-28 10:29:13

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In a study that could have implications for organ transplant procedures, two scientists from Tufts University found that eyes placed on the backs of tadpoles were still capable of vision despite having no direct neural connection to the brain. "A primary goal in medicine is to one day be able to restore the function of damaged or missing sensory structures through the use of biological or artificial replacement components,” said...

Mechanism For Organ Placement Shared By Human Cells, Plants, Worms And Frogs
2012-07-17 10:19:48

New research identifies special protein that determines what goes where As organisms develop, their internal organs arrange in a consistent asymmetrical pattern--heart and stomach to the left, liver and appendix to the right. But how does this happen? Biologists at Tufts University have produced the first evidence that a class of proteins that make up a cell's skeleton -- tubulin proteins -- drives asymmetrical patterning across a broad spectrum of species, including plants, nematode...

2012-04-26 09:29:02

Study shows developing organisms can identify and fix abnormalities in head and face Developmental biologists at Tufts University have identified a "self-correcting" mechanism by which developing organisms recognize and repair head and facial abnormalities. This is the first time that such a mechanism has been reported for the face and the first time that this kind of flexible, corrective process has been rigorously analyzed through mathematical modeling. The research, reported in the...

Changes In Bioelectric Signals Cause Tadpoles To Grow Eyes In Back, Tail
2011-12-09 03:55:59

For the first time, scientists have altered natural bioelectrical communication among cells to directly specify the type of new organ to be created at a particular location within a vertebrate organism. Using genetic manipulation of membrane voltage in Xenopus (frog) embryos, biologists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences were able to cause tadpoles to grow eyes outside of the head area. The researchers achieved most surprising results when they manipulated membrane voltage...

2010-10-19 16:30:07

Voltage-sensitive cells can instruct stem cells Stem cell therapies hold increasing promise as a cure for multiple diseases. But the massive potential of a healthy stem cell has a flip side, as faulty regulation of stem cells leads to a huge range of human diseases. Even before birth, mistakes made by the stem cells of the foetus are a major cause of congenital defects, and cancer is also caused by the body losing control of stem cell function. Guiding stem cells along the correct pathways...

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2010-09-29 09:25:34

New drug treatment triggers sodium ions to regrow nerves and muscle; could extend treatment window for acute injuries Sodium gets a bad rap for contributing to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Now biologists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences have discovered that sodium also plays a key role in initiating a regenerative response after severe injury. The Tufts scientists have found a way to regenerate injured spinal cord and muscle by using small molecule drugs to...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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