Little Urchin

sea urchinNo, not pictures of little urchins doing science, as I sometimes have on this blog.

Instead, it’s a story about the sea urchin’s genome being completely mapped out by researchers. Quite a story, and an important one, since about 70 percent (I learned) of the creature’s genes have analogues in human. This is more overlap than we have with Drosophila, for example, the fruit fly being another well-studied system.

Lots to read about (try here , here, and here for example -the latter is where I got the nice image by Alexandra Eaves, above), and a nice piece on NPR to listen to. So I’ll leave you to it.


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One Response to Little Urchin

  1. Dharmashanti says:

    I heard the story on NPR the other day. When I was a teenager, a friend of mine were playing in a shallow inlet at high tide on one of North Carolina’s barrier islands. When we went back the next day at low tide, the shore of the inlet was lined with lots of purple sea urchins. I was fascinated by this beautiful echinoderm. But I was mortified to think that my friend and I were walking barefoot in water so populated by these spiny creatures.

    The recently discovered genomic similarities to humans is interesting.