Simple body, complex blueprints

Simple body, complex blueprints

Genes key to the development of modern animals' body plans show up in primitive-looking comb jellies

By Amy Maxmen, 20:01 PM June 6, 2008

Every horror flick fan knows to never underestimate a blob. Now, scientists working with comb jellies have learned the same lesson. Within the transparent ooze of the gelatinous animal, researchers have found startling genetic complexity. It’s as if they’ve discovered that igloos were based on blueprints for the Sydney Opera House.

No one suspected that the primitive comb jellies — watery, rotund and nearly invisible sea creatures — would rely on an intricate interplay of genes to design t...

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