New study reveals regeneration of amputated body parts is not always an ancient trait and scientists might need to rethink the way they compare animals with regenerative abilities. An international group of researchers including biologists from the University of Maryland found that at least four species of marine ribbon worms independently recently evolved the ability to regrow a head after amputation. This new study, which was published in the March 6, 2019 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, turns that assumption on its head. In a survey of 35 species of marine ribbon worms, the researchers found that the ability to regenerate an entire head, including a brain, evolved relatively recently in four different species. “This means that when we compare animal groups we cannot assume that similarities in their ability to regenerate are old and reflect shared ancestry,” said Alexandra Bely, associate professor of biology at UMD and one of the study’s authors. “We need to be more careful when comparing regeneration findings across different groups of animals.” “The ancestor of this group of worms is inferred to have been unable to regenerate a head, but four separate groups subsequently evolved the ability to do so,” Bely said. “One of these origins is inferred to have occurred just 10 to 15 million years ago.” (1)
We believe it is the culmination of miracles
But even worms can do it.
Humans on the other hand do not seek completion.
For only a broken tree, can ever reach the ground.
Seek your strength in your weakness.
Find the meaning of life in its absurdness.
Pull off your eyes. (Democritus)
Seek death. (Socrates)
Ignore this life. (Christ)
And you will gain a place in another.
Where worms cannot grow heads.
Where worms die.
Where humans live without living…
This is not fantasy.
But what worms teach us every day.
This is the miracle you never understood.
The miracle you will never comprehend.
Because you seek miracles.
And the greatest miracle that exists…
Is that there are none…