News Focus2013 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting

Nervous System May Have Evolved Twice

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Science  25 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6118, pp. 391
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6118.391-a

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Biologists have long assumed that the neuron—with its axon, synapses, long processes called dendrites, and a suite of nerve-specific proteins—is the epitome of a specialized cell and thus likely to have evolved only once in the history of life. But a newly sequenced genome of a comb jelly, an ocean-going predator sometimes confused with traditional jellyfish, threatens to upend this view.