• What is the Science Box?

    The Science Boxes contain the required components and protocols to perform a scientific experiment. They are ideal for using in the class as they provide hands-on experience to explore scientific topics and encourage student curiosity. Our current 2 boxes focus on regeneration and model organisms.

  • What is the Challenge?

    When a planarian flatworm is cut into several pieces, each piece can, in theory, regenerate into a small new worm. The Planaria Regeneration Box challenges you to obtain as many worms out of 1 worm.

  • Who developed Science in a Box?


European Research Institute
for the Biology of Ageing
Developed by Dr. Stijn Mouton
Hosted by the ERIBA Outreach Committee
Development and Production funded by ERIBA

Consumables sponsored by Greiner Bio-One

Planaria Regeneration Box

  • Includes a protocol for a regeneration experiment.
  • Provides worms and consumables to perform the regeneration experiment.
  • This can be performed alone or up to a group of 5 people.
  • INCLUDES CHALLENGE.

Planaria Culture Box

  • Provides worms and medium to design your own experiments.
  • Includes a protocol to maintain a planaria culture.

Regeneration and Stem cells

Regeneration is the ability to replace damaged or lost cells, tissues or parts of the body. It is widespread across the animal kingdom, but the capacity to regenerate varies greatly between different animals. While the methods of regeneration are not the same in different tissues and animals, they often rely on the activity of stem cells.

Stem cells are cells which can divide to form two daughter cells. These daughter cells can become new stem cells in order to maintain the stem cell pool (self-renewal), or can mature into specialized cells with a specific function, e.g. blood cells, muscle cells, bone cells, …. (differentiation).

Planaria

Planarians are a type of free-living flatworms (Platyhelminthes) that is used in the laboratory as a model organism for studying regeneration and stem cells. They are soft-bodied worms and contain complex tissues and organ systems, such as photoreceptors (eyes), a small brain, a digestive system, epidermis, and muscle. One of the most studied species is Schmidtea mediterranea, and this is the species included in our Science Boxes.

Schmidtea Mediterranea

Schmidtea mediterranea can regenerate a complete animal from almost any fragment of the body. This impressive regeneration capacity is made possible by an abundant population of neoblasts, which are the stem cells of the worm. After amputation, the neoblasts will increase their proliferation rate and their daughter cells will mature into specialized cells which will eventually restore all lost tissues and organs.

Regeneration and Stem cells

Regeneration is the ability to replace damaged or lost cells, tissues or parts of the body. It is widespread across the animal kingdom, but the capacity to regenerate varies greatly between different animals. While the methods of regeneration are not the same in different tissues and animals, they often rely on the activity of stem cells.

Stem cells are cells which can divide to form two daughter cells. These daughter cells can become new stem cells in order to maintain the stem cell pool (self-renewal), or can mature into specialized cells with a specific function, e.g. blood cells, muscle cells, bone cells, …. (differentiation).

Planaria

Planarians are a type of free-living flatworms (Platyhelminthes) that is used in the laboratory as a model organism for studying regeneration and stem cells. They are soft-bodied worms and contain complex tissues and organ systems, such as photoreceptors (eyes), a small brain, a digestive system, epidermis, and muscle. One of the most studied species is Schmidtea mediterranea, and this is the species included in our Science Boxes.

Schmidtea Mediterranea

Schmidtea mediterranea can regenerate a complete animal from almost any fragment of the body. This impressive regeneration capacity is made possible by an abundant population of neoblasts, which are the stem cells of the worm. After amputation, the neoblasts will increase their proliferation rate and their daughter cells will mature into specialized cells which will eventually restore all lost tissues and organs.

Top Challengers

8

Sergio

8 divisions in 3 weeks

Post Your Experiences

  • Upload text and photos to share your experiences with the Box.
  • Give feedback on the Boxes so we can further improve the content and the protocols together.
  • Ask questions related to science topics.
  • Upload your challenge results.

Contact

European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing

University Medical Center Groningen
Antonius Deusinglaan 1
Building 3226
9713 AV Groningen
The Netherlands

Get your box and start the scientific experience!