'Aliens of sea' provide insight into evolution

2014-05-22 11:05

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Washington - Exotic sea creatures called comb jellies may reshape how scientists view early evolution, as their genes suggest nature created more than one way to make a nervous system.

These beautiful but little-known translucent animals often are called "aliens of the sea". Somehow, they rapidly regenerate lost body parts. Some even can regrow a very rudimentary brain.

Now University of Florida researchers report that these mysterious creatures evolved a unique nervous system in a completely different way than the rest of the animal kingdom.

In other words, the nervous system evolved more than once.

The finding published on Wednesday by the challenges long-standing theories about animal development. It also suggests new ways to investigate brain diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, as researchers explore how to make neurons.
Read more on:    us  |  research  |  marine life

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