Many animals have the capacity to regenerate lost or damaged limbs and other body parts.  Although the adult human cannot regenerate entire body parts, there is a capacity renew or heal tissue, and this renewal capacity is closely linked to the ability to regenerate.  Studying organisms that can regenerate whole organs will aid in our understanding of the processes involved in order to someday be able to regenerate our own organs after loss or damage. 

This organism, Parhyale hawaiensis, (think crayfish or shrimp), is a model for regeneration.  One of the differences between this and other model systems is their ‘regeneration program’ is very similar to vertebrates.

In a recent article in Science (A Common Cellular Basis for Muscle Regeneration in Arthropods and Vertebrates), researchers outline several key similarities between regeneration in Parhyale hawaiensis vs vertebrates.

Images courtesy of Harvard University