PreviousNext


The little worm Xavier Bailly studies has the capability of photosymbiosis, which derives from the fact that the worm - like corals - lives in symbiosis with algae. The worm has 40,000 to 50,000 (unicellular) microalgae located under its skin. The algae use photosynthesis and thus nurture the worm. So we have to do with a worm that can live of photosynthesis, domesticate algae and collaborate with it. The worm is also capable of regenerating its brain and regain its usual functions. Where does the animal get the information from how to do this? This information could of course help cure degenerative illnesses: tumors and aging diseases. The Symsagittifera roscoffensis, the mighty flatworm in question, also helps to understand biology and ecology (the photosymbiosis in particular) of coral reefs. The coral reefs that have lost their algae lose their color, and die. The equilibrium of algae and the coral reefs has been made impossible by the acidification of the sea. People should learn at a very young age how special this photosymbiosis is. It could make them respect the marvels of nature and understand biology.

expert

  • Xavier Bailly

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

is a marine biologist at Roscoff Biological Station and the Pierre and Marie Curie University. He works on the life cycles of marine models and the development of associated molecular genetic tools. His main field of research is animal photosymbioses.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

is a marine biologist at Roscoff Biological Station and the Pierre and Marie Curie University. He works on the life cycles of marine models and the development of associated molecular genetic tools. His main field of research is animal photosymbioses.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

PreviousNext