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January 5th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Worms grow heads of other species

worm

 

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It now looks like Frankenstein is a concept that’s crossed into the realm of reality, and although it’s not different human parts that are sewn together, but rather, something far more primitive – worms. Through the manipulation of cell communication, scientists have successfully come up with worms that have the heads and brains of other species.

This particular research points to how development is controlled by other factors apart from pure genetics. researchers did not touch the flatworms’ DNA at all, but rather, manipulated proteins which control conversations between cells.

Study researcher Michael Levin, a biologist at Tufts University, shared, “It is commonly thought that the sequence and structure of chromatin — the material that makes up chromosomes — determine the shape of an organism, but these results show that the function of physiological networks can override the species-specific default anatomy.”

Of course, these are not permanent changes, but just temporary ones, and their heads will then return to their original shapes in a matter of weeks. Researchers hope that such findings can be used to treat birth defects as well as regenerative medicine, with the eventual aim of replacing or rebuilding damaged tissues and organs.

Image Credit / Article via ubergizmo.com

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