Biologists have re-shaped the body design of snails. Exposure to platinum results in the formation of an internal shell instead of the normal external shell. During embryogenesis of the freshwater snail, Marisa cornuarietis, a time slot of just one or two days determines whether the animals form an outer shell or not. Reprogramming of the direction of growth of the molluscs´ shell-generating tissue during this sensitive phase prevents the development of the usual convoluted shell. In lieu thereof a small hollow cone grows inside the body -- similar to whats happens in squids.
- Raphaela Osterauer, Leonie Marschner, Oliver Betz, Matthias Gerberding, Banthita Sawasdee, Peter Cloetens, Nadine Haus, Bernd Sures, Rita Triebskorn, Heinz-R. K?hler. Turning snails into slugs: induced body plan changes and formation of an internal shell. Evolution & Development, 2010; 12 (5): 474 DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2010.00433.x
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