12-headed jellyfish

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This one only has two, but Wolfgang Jacob and Bernd Schierwater, of Yale University and Hanover University of Veterinary Medicine, respectively, have created jellyfish with up to 12 heads.

The multiple-headed hydromedusa (Eleutheria dichotoma) specimens were created by using RNA inhibition or antisense oligonucleotides to silence various homeobox genes (Cnox-2 and Cnox-3) that are involved in head formation.

2 thoughts on “12-headed jellyfish

  1. As far as I know, jellyfish and other cnidarians have no structure that could reasonably be called a “head.” Could somebody please explain to me what this is all about? I read the linked article but have delved no further.

  2. Of course, jellyfish and other cnidaria do not have heads as such.
    But, as explained in the abstract of the paper by Jacob and Schierwater, and in the legend to figure 1, inhibition of the Cnox-3 gene resulted in duplication of the oral pole, while inhibition of Cnox-2 led to the formation of multiple oral poles.
    The oral pole is a pointed structure containing an opening which functions as a mouth.

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