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Oct 2, 2021

Scientists Rewired The Brain of a Mutant Worm Using Parts From a Hydra

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, education, genetics, neuroscience

Brains aren’t the easiest of organs to study, what with their delicate wiring and subtle whispering of neurotransmitter messages. Now, this research could be made a little easier, as we’ve learned we can swap some critical chemical systems with the host animal being none the wiser.

In a proof-of-concept study run by a team of US researchers, the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans was genetically gifted pieces of a nervous system taken from a radically different creature – a curious freshwater organism known as Hydra.

The swap wasn’t unlike teaching a specific brain circuit a foreign language, and finding it performs its job just as well as before.

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