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Latest Platyhelminthes 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...

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...

Parasite Proves To Be Troublesome For Diagnosing Bovine Tuberculosis
2012-05-23 09:39:29

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Researchers have uncovered new clues in the battle against bovine tuberculosis (bTB), which claimed the lives of thousands of U.K. cattle and wildlife last year. A parasitic flatworm often found in cattle, Fasciola hepatica - or common liver fluke, reduces the sensitivity of bTB skin tests and produces false negatives in the animals, according to a team of U.K. scientists at the Universities of Nottingham and Liverpool. Many in the British beef and dairy...

2012-05-22 03:00:29

Increases in the diversity of parasites that attack amphibians cause a decrease in the infection success rate of virulent parasites, including one that causes malformed limbs and premature death, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. According to CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Pieter Johnson, scientists are concerned about how changes in biodiversity affect the risk of infectious diseases in humans and wildlife. Charting the relationships between parasites and amphibians is...

2012-01-05 16:26:53

A potential target for schistosomiasis vaccine In the complicated life cycle of ancient flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, Case Western Reserve University researchers have identified a gene activator crucial to development of the parasites within humans — a potential target for a vaccine. A description of the activator, which turns on rapid growth, is in the online journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Schistosomiasis, which causes organ damage and failure, afflicts more...

2011-10-24 12:51:01

The human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis affects more than 35 million people in South East Asia and 15 million in China. Infection by this parasite causes clonorchiasis. Repeated or chronic infection can lead to serious disease of the liver, gall bladder or bile ducts, including the frequently fatal bile duct cancer - cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). The complete genome sequence the genome of C. sinensis, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, has provided insight into...

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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...

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2011-07-11 13:15:00

According to scientists, snails are able to survive intact after being eaten by birds. Researchers found that 15 percent of the snails eaten survived digestion and were found alive in the birds' droppings. The evidence suggests that bird predation could be a key factor into how snail populations spread. Japanese researchers from Tohoku University investigated whether invertebrates could also spread in this way. Previous research has shown that pond snails can survive being eaten by fish but...

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2010-10-13 11:11:56

A study of peptide hormones in the brain of a seemingly primitive flatworm reveals the surprising complexity of its nervous system and opens up a new approach for combating a major parasitic disease, researchers report. The study appears in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. The planarian flatworm, Schmidtea mediterranea, is perhaps best known for its prodigious powers of regeneration. Cut it in half (lengthwise or crosswise) and each fragment will regrow its missing parts, including its...

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2010-09-16 11:47:54

UCSB scientists see possible biomedical applications Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered a caste of genetically identical "warrior worms" "“"“ members of a parasitic fluke species that invades the California horn snail. The findings are reported in the early online version of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "We have discovered flatworms in colonies with vicious, killer morphs defending the colony," said Armand M. Kuris, professor of zoology, in the Department of...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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