Mandy M. Schofield, Christian A. Okafor, and Jack D. Shepard from Towson University presented an interesting poster at the 6th annual Greater Washington DC Area Physiological Society on how planarians are a useful “Model Organism for Investigation and Education.”
Planarians are indeed very interesting little animals. They have remarkable abilities to regenerate as shown in this YouTube video:
Aside from this impressive ability and its application to limb regeneration, planaria are also used to study animal behavior, pharmacology and toxicology as well as understanding the microbiome, which her lab is beginning to explore. Mandy’s research has been focused on figuring out the best diets and housing conditions as well as promoting the use of planaria in research and education.