How a sea anemone grows its tentacles | Science News


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How a sea anemone grows its tentacles

Creature's cells change shape to form appendages

2:37pm, May 7, 2013

Making a sea anemone tentacle takes a bit of stretching, researchers report in the May 15 Development.

Little is known about how the largely sedentary creatures form their multiple appendages. “What I expected to find were stem cells at the base of the tentacle,” says developmental biologist Matthew Gibson of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo. Those cells, he figured, would then produce other cells to build the protrusions.

Instead, by examining growing larvae under a microscope, Gibson and his colleagues found that starlet sea anemones (Nematostella vectensis

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