Slug’s Body Grows Again – level 3

18-03-2021 07:00

Japanese researchers have discovered a sea slug that can self-decapitate and regrow a whole new body in a matter of weeks.

The discovery was made by chance when scientists noticed that three of the 82 Elysia slugs decapitated their bodies at the neck and two of them regenerated their bodies within a week. It was a survival method meant to get rid of parasites living inside the bodies.

It’s not clear how the slugs can live without some of their vital organs; however, they can live without a heart probably because their heads are small, and they can intake oxygen from their body’s surface.

A scientist observed one of the slugs whose heart and body regenerated from the tip of its head, which could indicate that there were stem cells in this area. If the research of these stem cells continues, it could lead to advances in regenerative medicine.

Difficult words: decapitate (to cut off the head), vital (necessary to live), stem cells (cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated), regenerative medicine (a branch of medicine that heals or replaces injured or diseased cells, tissues and organs).

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