Monday, April 23, 2007

Human Brain Has Origin in Worm

At last, my long-held suspicion has now been confirmed: According to a recent article, scientists have determined that the human brain originally came from a common ancestor of our (very) distant kin, the worm.

Researchers once thought that the central nervous systems of vertebrates and invertebrates evolved separately, after our evolutionary split. But new research on the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, whose nervous system has gone unchanged "for eons," has shown that the developing central nervous system in both the worm and we vertebrate folks are identical.

From the LiveScience article: "Our findings were overwhelming," says study team member Alexandru Denes. "The molecular anatomy of the developing CNS [central nervous system] turned out to be virtually the same in vertebrates and Platynereis. Corresponding regions give rise to neuron types with similar molecular fingerprints and these neurons also go on to form the same neural structures in annelid worm and vertebrates."

"Such a complex arrangement could not have been invented twice throughout evolution, it must be the same system," said Gáspár Jékely, another team member. "It looks like Platynereis and vertebrates have inherited the organization of their CNS from their remote common ancestors."

This is exciting news for me, as I have often pondered the distant kinship of we humans and those squirmy little thingies that borrow through the soil. Sure, they got stuck with neuron strands for brains while we got these big, complex organs with which to contemplate our place in the universe. But in the end, we are all just mere creatures of the Earth. It's kind of humbling, actually.

~ ~

Labels: , ,


At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog . In this, the body is studied by regions rather than by organs. This is of importance to the surgeon who exposes different planes after the skin incision and who, of course, must be perfectly familiar with structures as he explores the limbs andHuman Anatomy studycavities.


Post a Comment

<< Home