Marine arthropods able to regrow parts of their anatomy

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Marine arthropods able to regrow parts of their anatomy

Pycnogonids, a marine species related to spiders, can regrow parts of their bodies after amputation, not just simple limbs, according to a study published Monday, paving the way for new discoveries about regeneration.

< p class="e-p">No one expected this, said Gerhard Scholtz of Humboldt University in Berlin, and one of the lead authors of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We were the first to show that it was possible. »

—Gerhard Scholtz, Humboldt University

A multitude of arthropod species such as centipedes, spiders or spiders are known to other insects can regrow a leg after losing it.

Crabs can even automatically shed their limbs if attacked, said Gerhard Scholtz, specifying: they replace them with a new member.

What researchers have discovered through their experiments with these tiny, eight-legged creatures is that they are able to regenerate even other parts of the body.

For During the study, they amputated different limbs and posterior body parts of 23 juvenile and adult pycnogonids, and observed the results.

No regeneration of body parts was found in adult specimens, but some were still alive after two years.

Juvenile specimens, on the other hand, experienced complete or near-complete regeneration of missing body parts, including hindgut, anus, musculature, and parts of genitalia.

Over the long term, 90% of pycnogonids survived and 16 juvenile specimens subsequently molted at least once.

Posterior regeneration was thus observed in 14 of the juvenile specimens, while none of the adult specimens moulted or regenerated.

The regenerative abilities vary across the animal kingdom. Flatworms, for example, can regrow their bodies from just a few cells.

Vertebrates, including humans, have virtually no regenerative capacity at all. #x27;except for a few species such as lizards, which can regrow their tails.

According to Gerhard Scholz, the results of the study open up new avenues of research in the domain.

A multitude of different species can be tested in this way, he says, which could allow comparison of regeneration mechanisms.

Ultimately, perhaps the mechanisms we discover in arthropods will help us with medical treatments after the loss of a limb, finger, etc. in humans, hopes the researcher.

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