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Worms can regrow their decapitated heads

Posted on Thursday, 11 July, 2013 | Comment icon 9 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Stephen Houck

A remarkable species of worm is capable of some impressive regenerative abilities.

Researchers have been investigating a small yellow worm known as a planarian that when decapitated is able to regrow its whole head. More remarkable still is the fact that it even regrows its brain which then goes on to relearn all the knowledge that it had amassed before being beheaded. Regenerative powers of this level are highly unusual in the animal kingdom.

It isn't clear exactly how the worms achieve such a feat. One theory is that the memories are stored elsewhere within its body while another suggests that memories alter the worms' nervous system which in turn influences the regrowth of the brain so that the same memories are reformed.

"Even after decapitation, worms that had gone through training were able to overcome their fears and start eating much faster than worms that hadn't been trained."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Verge

  Discuss: View comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by questionmark on 10 July, 2013, 19:29
I guess all those with 2 functioning neurons can do the same...
Comment icon #2 Posted by GirlfromOz on 11 July, 2013, 16:50
How in God's realm is any being able to reproduce without the very neocortex that requires the very central nervous system's managing director that directs every function.I was willing to walk away from this but now,I want to ask many questions.! LOL If you were left without a body & you only had the head & brain,a brain & no body,how would you fair?Maybe we would have been given the answer that the cell/creature would be able to reproduce a new body.But now I am stumped!
Comment icon #3 Posted by questionmark on 11 July, 2013, 17:28
Quite simple: there is not much to reproduce: As I said, two neurons.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Knight Of Shadows on 11 July, 2013, 17:35
lol i read it " women " regrow their decapitated heads i must have fasted longer than i should
Comment icon #5 Posted by Rhino666 on 11 July, 2013, 18:14
Thank god people can't do this.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Black Red Devil on 11 July, 2013, 18:45
This can happen when you don't have much of a brain. The rest of the body can function without it. I'm sure many humans could reproduce something similar..
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin on 11 July, 2013, 21:14
Wow, I've heard of, say, tail or limb regeneration, but it's brain? Amazing. But, just how could it do that without at least a partial brain to guide the regeneration? Seems weird. Maybe in some simple creatures the "brain" is not fully localized in the head, but distributed in the rest of the body. Heck. I don't know.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Knight Of Shadows on 12 July, 2013, 1:15
cockroaches can live without heads for 9 days and when they die it's because of thirst bugs are just weird
Comment icon #9 Posted by The Nameless One on 13 July, 2013, 4:45
Reminds me of cryogenics.

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