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These blobs are our closest invertebrate kin

Botryllus schlosseri

Scientists have sequenced the genome of a small sea creature, Botryllus schlosseri, which can regenerate its whole body from blood vessels alone.

“The whole body can regenerate from the vasculature alone: the heart, digestive system, sophisticated tissues,” says Ayelet Voskoboynik, a scientist at Stanford University’s Stem Cell Institute. “And it can do this relatively fast, probably using stem cells. Now that we have the genome, we can try to understand the mechanism behind it.”

Full story at Futurity.

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Photo credit: Chris Patton/Stanford

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