Science: Soundings

Highlights of last week's convention of the National Academy of Sciences at Brown University (Providence, R. I.): Totipotency. When a flatworm (Planaria maculata, which inhabits fresh water) is cut into pieces, each piece will grow into a healthy and flawless new flatworm. Just how this marvelously convenient process of regeneration in lower animals works, no one knows. One theory is that their bodies contain undifferentiated, "totipotent" cells capable of growing into any organ under some unexplained architectural guidance. Professor James Walter Wilson of Brown University hazarded the guess that higher animals, perhaps...

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