Sea slug grows new body after decapitation

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Scientists have discovered the ultimate case of regeneration: Some decapitated sea slugs can regrow hearts and whole new bodies. This “wonder of nature,” reported in a biology journal on March 8, could eventually help scientists better understand and tackle regeneration of human tissue. Biology researcher Sayaka Mitoh said she loves studying Japanese sea slugs because they are small, cute and weird. They can even briefly photosynthesize like a plant drawing food from the sun. One day in the lab, she saw something bizarre: A sea slug had decapitated itself and the head kept on moving and living. Then a couple more did the same, according to a study in Current Biology. So the doctoral student, along with Nara Women’s University aquatic ecology professor Yoichi Yusa, tried it themselves, cutting the heads off 16 sea slugs. Six of the creatures started regenerating, with three succeeding and surviving. One of the three even lost and regrew its body twice. They said that the species probably developed the feat as a way of fighting off parasites. (AP) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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