Eyes are one of the most complex organs found in animals. Through evolution the eyes of animals have evolved to suit some needs better than others. Some animals can see the world in 3D, while some others can see in the dark. Animals living in places where the light doesn’t reach like caves, can’t use their eye and hence have primitive eyes. Researchers from Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, study the pit eye seen in the flatworm Planaria to understand how the organism senses the environment around it.
Planarians have fascinated scientists for decades. Their prowess of regeneration allows the planarians to grow entire individuals from a tiny fragment of the body, or for individuals to generate multiple organ systems upon making an incision. Various studies have explored the genetic mechanism behind this regeneration in the organism. In a recent study scientists from Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine have uncovered the function of microRNA's a particular kind of genetic material in the regeneration of brain and eyes in planarians.