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Moon Jellyfish Adapt To Injury While Retaining Symmetry

Moon Jellyfish Symmetry

While moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) can’t regenerate lost limbs, they can symmetrically rearrange the ones they have left, according to new research.

The research, which was reported on June 15, 2015 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by a team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

When it comes to juvenile moon jellies and the symmetrical rearrangement of their limbs following loss, those who manage to find symmetry mature into relatively normal adulthood, the researchers found. But in contrast, juveniles who fail to find symmetry are unable to survive in the wild.

Through the application of an anesthetic, the researchers were able to impede movement and subsequently found movement to be a necessary component of the symmetrical rearranging of limbs.

According to the researchers, muscular movements caused by their regular pulsations draws their limbs into place.

Michael Abrams, a researcher behind the study and a graduate student in biology and biological engineering at Caltech, was quoted by Live Science as having said that it’s “kind of beautiful” the way their normal swimming and feeding lead to self-repair.

It’s kind of beautiful that their normal swimming and feeding process leads to this self-repair.

Moon jellies, which have no brain, float through the water while catching small prey in their tentacles, which they then pull towards their central mouth known as their manubrium.

Caltech assistant professor of biology Lea Goentoro referred to the adaptation technique as “a different strategy of self repair,” reported.

In theory, the findings could inspire self-repairing materials, according to Abrams.

In other news, a robotics breakthrough has resulted in self-healing robots capable of quickly adapting to injury in a fashion reminiscent of moon jellies.

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