Contact: Matt Fearer
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Caption: The lab of Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien is introducing the scientific community to the three-banded panther worm (Hofstenia miamia), a small organism with the ability to regenerate any missing body part. As a model, Hofstenia could help further our understanding of regeneration, how its mechanisms have evolved over millennia, and what limits regeneration in other animals, including humans. Intriguingly, Hofstenia and the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea -- long the mainstay of Reddien's research -- rely on similar molecular pathways to control regeneration despite having evolved separately over the course of roughly 550 million years.
Credit: Kathleen Mazza and Mansi Srivastava/Whitehead Institute
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Related news release: Three-banded panther worm debuts as a new model in the study of regeneration