The Hydra (Lernaean Hydra) was a ferocious serpent-like monster with multiple heads in ancient Greek mythology which was eventually killed by demigod Hercules as one of his 12 labours. The monster was capable of growing two heads for each one it lost.
But what if we told you that scientists have actually figured out a way to create a tiny Hydra monster.
Researchers have known about a tiny freshwater polyp that could seemingly live forever without ageing while having regenerative abilities.
It usually could regenerate its body parts perfectly, one foot, one long skinny body, and one tentacled head.
As Stephanie Pappas of livescience.com reports, with a single genetic tweak, researchers can create monstrous hydras that sprout fully functional heads all over their bodies — appropriate for an animal named for an ancient Greek monster that had somewhere between six and nine heads.
These many-headed hydras aren’t just a trick of mad science. For the first time, researchers have figured out what keeps hydra head regeneration in check. The findings could inform everything from human developmental studies to cancer research.
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