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Flatworms

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smiley_face
135200.  Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:52 am Reply with quote

An urban myth states that if you chop a worm in half, both halves will grow back. However, I think a fair few people now believe this urban myth to be untrue. Only one of the halves will grow back, right?

In fact the original urban myth is true in the case of Planarium, a type of freshwater flatworm. If chopped in half, both halves will go on to form organisms through a process called regeneration.

Thomas Hunt Morgan, an American geneticist and embryologist, found that pieces one two-hundred-and-seventy-ninth of the size of the original organism (that's about 10,000 cells) could regenerate into a new worm.

Source: Wikipedia, sadly, although I'm determined to find a more credible source.

Edit: Have found the original paper published, which I'm currently going through and trying to understand.

 
grizzly
135214.  Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:44 am Reply with quote

Quote:
In fact the original urban myth is true in the case of Planarium, a type of freshwater flatworm. If chopped in half, both halves will go on to form organisms through a process called regeneration.


Was the Doctor a flatworm?

 
smiley_face
135218.  Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:46 am Reply with quote

grizzly wrote:
Quote:
In fact the original urban myth is true in the case of Planarium, a type of freshwater flatworm. If chopped in half, both halves will go on to form organisms through a process called regeneration.


Was the Doctor a flatworm?


Did he have testicles and ovaries?

 
grizzly
135227.  Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:08 am Reply with quote

For some reason they've never explored that on the show. So who knows, maybe his arm will just fall off one day and grow into a whole new doctor.

 
Ameena
135257.  Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:03 pm Reply with quote

Well, he had his hand chopped off, didn't he? ;)

 
Frances
137612.  Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:11 am Reply with quote

Is it true that if you put a planarium worm through a mincer and leave the resulting goo in a suitable environment, it will slowly but accurately reassemble itself?

 
smiley_face
137685.  Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:24 am Reply with quote

Frances wrote:
Is it true that if you put a planarium worm through a mincer and leave the resulting goo in a suitable environment, it will slowly but accurately reassemble itself?

Sponges are the organisms which reform back into one organism when belnded.

A planarium won't reassemble itself - it will reform into many more planarium organisms, so you're basically saving it the hassle of having to have sex (oh what a chore!) to reproduce.

However, it would most probably depend on how it was cut. From reading the original paper by Morgan, I get the impression that the way it is cut is important to regrowth, but I'm not entirely sure whether blending would cut it the correct way.

Also, a planarium is fairly tiny, so I'm not even sure it would be affected by a blender.

 
ConorOberstIsGo
1041806.  Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:02 pm Reply with quote

Dang! I just posted a planarium thing in 'worms'. It should really be here; apologies.

 
CharliesDragon
1041854.  Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:55 pm Reply with quote

grizzly wrote:
For some reason they've never explored that on the show. So who knows, maybe his arm will just fall off one day and grow into a whole new doctor.


That did happened, and he was nekkid!

 

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