In BriefWhile studying the effects of space on a species of regenerating flatworm, scientists noticed that one of the subjects ended up growing two heads. Space travel is hypothesized to have facilitated this aberration.
The International Space Station (ISS) is an invaluable tool that helps us understand how our Earth-based technologies and biology operates in space. It has been confirmed that space travel does indeed impact human biology, even down to the genetic level. Even so, researchers looking into how a species of flatworms fare in space were not prepared for what they found.
To the great shock of the team, one of the fifteen amputated planarian flatworms that spent five weeks aboard the ISS ended up growing back two heads once back on Earth. These findings have been published in the journal Regeneration.
Planarian flatworms have remarkable regeneration abilities. They are able to regenerate complex body systems even from a tiny piece of their bodies. After their all-inclusive stay upon the ISS, the worms were brought back to Earth and observed for an additional 20 months. During this time, researchers noticed that one of the worms was regenerating its head, along with another. The scientists then amputated the two heads and the worm once again grew back two heads.