"The origin of brain lies in a worm! Researchers discover that the centralised nervous system of vertebrates is much older than expected. Vertebrates, insects and worms evolved from the same ancestor, but their central nervous systems are different and were thought to have evolved only after their lineages had split during evolution. While vertebrates have a nervous system in the shape of a spinal cord running along their backs, insects and annelid worms like the earthworm have a rope-ladder-like chain of nerve cell clusters on their belly side.
"Such a complex arrangement could not have been invented twice throughout evolution, it must be the same system," adds Gáspár Jékely, a researcher from Arendt's lab, who contributed essentially to the study. "It looks like Platynereis and vertebrates have inherited the organisation of their central nervous systems from their remote common ancestors."
".... and vertebrates have turned themselves upside down throughout the course of evolution.
Storyteller: Detlev Arendt and his group study at EMBL
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