Asexuality, migration and genetic networks in regenerating flatworms

Aziz Aboobaker has been at Oxford Zoology (now Biology) for 10 years having first started his own group in Nottingham . He started his own group with some plates of nematodes , some vials of flies, a dish of tardigrades, two jars of flour beetles and a tupperware box of freshwater planarians. After a few months only the planarians were still alive. Through the hard work of very talented colleagues the lab had used molecular, developmental and genomic approaches to study how regeneration works in planarians, and is also trying to understand how they avoid ageing. I will try to present some work looking at how the obligate asexual planarians might persist in the face of evolutionary arguments that they shouldn’t, some work we are continuing on the control of stem cell migration and recent work on trying to understand the GRNs in active in adult pluripotent stem cells.