• Kirk Hartley

Epigenetics in Action: “Scientists make flatworm grow head and brain of different species&#822

Tufts biologists induced one species of flatworm -- G. dorotocephala, top left -- to grow heads and brains characteristic of other species of flatworm, top row, without altering genomic sequence. Examples of the outcomes can be seen in the bottom row of the image.Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University.

Tufts biologists induced one species of flatworm — G. dorotocephala, top left — to grow heads and brains characteristic of other species of flatworm, top row, without altering genomic sequence. Examples of the outcomes can be seen in the bottom row of the image.Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University.


Epigenetic effects can be powerful, and transgenerational. Check out this November 25, 2015 article from International Business Times about researchers using epigenetics to cause one type of flatworm to start growing a head from a different type of flatworm.  It’s real, see this November 25, 2015 article in Science. Really!

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