Sea squirts are totally sweet
March 6, 2007 9:58 PM   Subscribe

Sea Squirt Regrows Entire Body from One Blood Vessel. Most famous as the creature that settles down and eats its own brain (though that is not exactly correct), it appears the humble sea squirt has spectacular regenerative abilities as well, thanks to regeneration niches packed with stem cells. All glory to the sea squirt!
posted by homunculus (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Grow Your Own Limbs
posted by homunculus at 10:08 PM on March 6, 2007

Very dissapointed that the sea squirt merely remodels a ganglion or two. I've used that story in academia a lot.

Then again, I don't need the metaphor. I can just say that my colleagues resemble a sea squirt colony.
posted by lalochezia at 10:31 PM on March 6, 2007

Jim, I can regenerate that body from one blood cell!
posted by dirigibleman at 10:31 PM on March 6, 2007

All glory to the sea squirt!

Sure, you say that now. Where will you be in 20 years when we are all bowing before them?

Are you some kind of squirt-sympathizer? Yeah, I know your type. All 'humans above all else' until the hammer comes down.

I've got my eye on you. Squirt-lover.

My new favorite pejorative, even if they have no idea what it means.

[And this could have interesting repercussions.]
posted by quin at 10:51 PM on March 6, 2007

I for one welcome our new, etc, etc. Well, somebody was going to say it.
posted by MrMustard at 10:53 PM on March 6, 2007

Wait till the OWI hears about this!
posted by hincandenza at 10:56 PM on March 6, 2007

A lot of invertebrates can do this. Sponges are legendary for it, and starfish can do it, too. But the tunicates are chordates; that's why this is remarkable.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:01 PM on March 6, 2007

I spent a summer at Duke University's Marine Lab in the Outer Banks, and Sea Squirts made great waterguns. You pull 'em out of the tank, give 'em a tickle, and they fire! Then you pop 'em back in the tank to reload. If you'd been using them frequently the water would be pretty clear, but sometimes it'd be really green and gross. Well in that case maybe water isn't the right word.
posted by thecjm at 11:29 PM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

The video isn't working for me. Does it actually show the sea squirt regenerating? If so, I'm bummed.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:45 PM on March 6, 2007

Sure, you say that now. Where will you be in 20 years when we are all bowing before them?

The recent discovery in Antarctica of an unholy alliance between the sea squirts and the psychedelic octopus prooves that the squirts are minions of the Elder Gods. I hope to be eaten first!
posted by homunculus at 11:51 PM on March 6, 2007

Great post homunculus.

Your last link to the Howard Hallis strip was pure gold.

I want to be eaten last. Sticking around to watch the entire world destroyed by evil creatures from beyond Hell sounds like a great way to spend my last afternoon on Earth.
posted by three blind mice at 1:37 AM on March 7, 2007

Man, Wolverine has really let himself go.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:50 AM on March 7, 2007

Eating one's own brain is like the coolest concept I have encountered in some time.
posted by dios at 7:23 AM on March 7, 2007

Some Tunicates can concentrate vanadium up to a level one million times that of the surrounding seawater. It is still unknown how they do this or why.

They concentrate it in their blood. Hands down, the weirdest creature on earth. That they have blood is weird enough, forget brains and spinal cords. The truth is, incomprehensibly, that THEY ARE US.
posted by Astragalus at 5:04 PM on March 7, 2007

Puget Sound fighting sea squirt invasion

It begins.
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on March 7, 2007

East coast sea squirt invasion.
posted by fish tick at 7:50 AM on March 9, 2007

(BTW, the "creature" link alone, a great article by Carl Zimmer, is plenty worth checking out, and ppossibly deserves it's own FPP.)
posted by homunculus at 11:48 PM on March 12, 2007

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