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Brains of simple sea animals could help cure neural disorders

Published on May 22, 2014 8:25 AM
 
A comb jelly is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of Whitney laboratory for Marine Biosciences, University of Florida. Leonid Moroz, a Florida scientist who has been studying comb jellies for the last 7 years, has found the road map of a new form of brain development that could lead to new synthetic and regenerative treatments for Parkinsons, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, in a report in the magazine Nature to be published on May 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ORLANDO (REUTERS) - A Florida scientist studying simple sea animals called comb jellies has found the road map to a new form of brain development that could lead to treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

"There is more than one way to make a brain," University of Florida researcher Leonid Moroz, who led an international research team, told Reuters.

Moroz said his research, published on Wednesday in a report in the magazine Nature, also places comb jelly-like creatures on the first branch of the animal kingdom's "tree of life", replacing and bumping up sponge-like species from the bottom rung of evolutionary progression.

Moroz said that finding should lead to a reclassification of the animal kingdom's "tree of life" and reshape two centuries of zoological thought.

 
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