[UW Today] “Our closest worm kin regrow body parts, raising hopes of regeneration in humans”

Think marine biology isn’t related to human health? Read a profile of the research done by Professor Billie Swalla and UW Biology doctoral student Shawn Luttrell on the regeneration properties of the acorn worm.

A new study of one of our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, reveals that this feat might one day be possible. Acorn worms burrow in the sand around coral reefs, but their ancestral relationship to chordates means they have a genetic makeup and body plan surprisingly similar to ours.

[read the full article]

 

An intact, live acorn worm. The head is on the far left, and the worm will be cut in the middle.
An intact, live acorn worm. The head is on the far left, and the worm will be cut in the middle.