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Latest Planarian Stories

2014-04-10 16:17:27

Stowers team develops novel assay to identify genes controlling pharynx regeneration in flatworms As multicellular creatures go, planaria worms are hardly glamorous. To say they appear rudimentary is more like it. These tiny aquatic flatworms that troll ponds and standing water resemble brown tubes equipped with just the basics: a pair of beady light-sensing "eyespots" on their head and a feeding tube called the pharynx (which doubles as the excretory tract) that protrudes from a belly sac...

Stem Cells In A Human Parasite Revealed Through Study
2013-02-26 09:31:26

University of Illinois From the point of view of its ultimate (human) host, the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni has a gruesome way of life. It hatches in feces-tainted water, grows into a larva in the body of a snail and then burrows through human skin to take up residence in the veins. Once there, it grows into an adult, mates and, if it´s female, starts laying eggs. It can remain in the body for decades. A new study offers insight into the cellular operations that give...

Understanding Organ Regeneration Using Planarian Flatworms
2012-10-25 12:26:38

In a new study published in the October 16 issue of Developmental Cell, corresponding author Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Phillip Newmark and colleagues report the identification of genes that control growth and regeneration of the intestine in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. How animals repair their internal organs after injury is not well understood. Planarian flatworms are useful models for studying this...

2012-08-31 13:41:11

Stowers scientists show how pluripotent stem cells mobilize in wounded planarian worms, to better understand stem cell behavior in regeneration and disease The skin, the blood, and the lining of the gut–adult stem cells replenish them daily. But stem cells really show off their healing powers in planarians, humble flatworms fabled for their ability to rebuild any missing body part. Just how adult stem cells build the right tissues at the right times and places has remained largely...

2012-08-03 01:19:53

Planarian flatworms have come under intense study for their renowned ability to regenerate any missing body part, even as adults. But now they may take on a starring role as a model system for studying eye development and eye diseases in vertebrates, including humans. This expansion of the planarian job description comes courtesy of Whitehead Institute researchers, who this week are publishing in Cell Reports an exhaustive catalog of genes active in the planarian eye. "It's exciting to...

2012-01-06 10:11:28

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered that planarians, tiny flatworms fabled for their regenerative powers, completely lack centrosomes, cellular structures that organize the network of microtubules that pulls chromosomes apart during cell division. The flatworms' unique and unexpected characteristic, detailed in the Jan. 5, 2012 issue of Science Express, not only allowed lead author Juliette Azimzadeh,...

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2011-08-11 06:25:00

Flatworms provide new insight into organ regeneration and the evolution of mammalian kidneys Our bodies are perfectly capable of renewing billions of cells every day but fail miserably when it comes to replacing damaged organs such as kidneys. Using the flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea"”famous for its capacity to regrow complete animals from minuscule flecks of tissue"”as an eloquent example, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research demonstrated how our distant...

2011-07-05 23:18:33

Researchers of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have gained new insights into planarian flatworms, which are an attractive model for stem cell biology and regeneration. Close collaboration between four laboratories at the BIMSB led by Stefan Kempa, Christoph Dieterich, Nikolaus Rajewsky and Wei Chen has led to the identification of thousands of gene products, many of which are expressed and are...

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 22:20:21

Ever since animals, such as lizards and starfish, were observed regenerating missing body parts, people have wondered where the new tissues come from. In the case of the planarian flatworm, Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the source of this animal's extraordinary regenerative powers is a single, pluripotent cell type. Most advanced animals, including mammals, have a system of specialized stem cells. In humans, we have blood stem cells in our bone marrow that make blood...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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