/Sea creature uses stem cells to regrow entire body from a tiny piece

Sea creature uses stem cells to regrow entire body from a tiny piece

Sea squirts

Sea squirts are regeneration experts

Liza Gross/CC BY 2.5

Marine animals called sea squirts can regenerate their entire bodies from nothing but a tiny fragment of a blood vessel. Their secret is a special population of stem cells floating in their blood.

The finding could help us understand how such regenerative abilities evolved. In the long run, it could also help doctors regenerate damaged or lost tissues or even limbs in our own bodies.

Sea squirts are oval or cylindrical animals a few centimetres across. They belong to a larger group of animals called the chordates, most …