Tunicates

Tunicates, an ancient sea species dating back nearly five hundred million years, possess incredible regeneration properties

Tunicate ‘hair’ could help repair damaged muscles

New research from the UK has discovered that tunicates, an ancient sea species dating back nearly five hundred million years, possess incredible regeneration properties.

Scientists at Manchester University discovered that the creatures’ microscopic hairs contain a compound with the ability to function as building blocks that could mend damaged muscle tissue. This discovery may have the potential to treat patients suffering from serious injuries and even permanent disabilities.

A tunicate is a marine invertebrate animal, a member of the subphylum Tunicata, which is part of the Chordata, a phylum which includes all animals with dorsal nerve cords and notochords.

Tunicates may hold key in Alzheimer's research

According to San Diego biology professor Bob Zeller, the invertebrate that grows on boat hulls and dock pilings shares a protein with humans leads to the development of plaques, the brain irregularities that are linked to Alzheimer's disease. According to Zeller, his lab has been able to produce plaques in sea squirts in a mere 24 hours.