Flatworms guide stem cell research

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Flatworms may seem an unlikely star in the world of stem cells, but planarian research is yielding exciting insight into cell differentiation and regeneration. Néstor J. Oviedo and Michael Levin of the Forsyth Institute (Boston, MA) identified a protein in Schmidtea mediterranea flatworms that is expressed in the gap junctions between the worms’ adult stem cells and may be involved in their regulation.

Lab Anim. (NY) 36, 9 (2007).
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