Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration

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A piece of non-coding DNA may hold the key to how humans could regenerate body parts

Humans may one day have the ability to regrow limbs after scientists at Harvard University uncovered the DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

Some animals can achieve extraordinary feats of repair, such as salamanders which grow back legs, or geckos which can shed their tails to escape predators and then form new ones in just two months.

Planarian worms, jellyfish, and sea anemones go even further, actually regenerating their entire bodies after being cut in half.

Now scientists have discovered that that in worms, a section of non-coding or ‘junk’ DNA controls the activation of a ‘master control gene’ called early growth response (EGR) which acts like a power switch, turning regeneration on or off.

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The flying machine that was inspired by a jellyfish

Flying robotic jellyfish.

Leif Ristroph, an applied mathematician at New York University, wanted to build the “simplest possible” flying machine.  Ristroph glued together several tubes of carbon fiber to build this: a sphere with four wings attached to it that propels it as a jellyfish swims. (Video)

 

 

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Why Don’t Jellyfish Sting Each Other?

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Jellyfish are well known for their toxic stings

Not a bad question. How does a creature with no brain—but with long, venomous tentacles—manage to travel in dense packs without things getting really socially awkward? I took Kate’s query to Southern Fried Scientist, a science blogger who doubles as a graduate student studying deep-sea biology.

Jellyfish can and do sting other jellyfish, he says, but really only when they’re hunting jellies of another species…

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Glowing Green Jellyfish Goo Could Power Medical Devices

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Will we have jellyfish power soon?

Thanks to more acidic oceans, jellyfish populations seem to be flourishing. While they aren’t exactly edible for humans, they might be useful for powering nanodevices. Swedish researcher have been turning thousands of Aequorea victoria, a common North American jellyfish species, into liquid and extracting a green fluorescent protein (GFP) that makes the animals glow in the dark to see if it can also help create a biofuel cell that will generate small amounts of energy — enough to power microscopic nanodevices.

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Are Jellyfish Changing The Ocean’s Temperature?

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Jellyfish mixing up the oceans’ waters

Talk about a “butterfly flaps its wings” scenario. Scientists Kakani Katija and John Dabiri of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have worked out just how jellyfish swim, and propose that the way jellyfish and other swimmers move through the water could have as big an impact on mixing up the oceans’ waters as tides and wind, which means they’re an important part of determining the temperatures of the seas.

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Please Don’t Trample the Jellyfish!

Jellyfish shaped crop circle @ Yahoo! Video

A 250m-long (825 ft) crop circle of a jellyfish has appeared on farmland. The owners of the land in Oxfordshire have urged visitors to stay away from the circle, which is also 60m (197ft) wide, to avoid further crop damage.

Sally Ann Spence and husband Bill, who own Berry Croft Farm near Ashbury, said hundreds of visitors have been trampling over their field…

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