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"In the summer of 1889, while occupying a table at the MBL at Woods Hole, I was invited on one of the many daily collecting excursions. Favorite grounds for many invertebrates are the 'Gutter', which connects the waters of Buzzards Bay with those of Hadley harbor. My attention was attracted to small reddish or arange Turbellarians which accumulated on the bottom in large numbers. They were collected and easily kept alive in the laboratory for many days."

Edward Laurens Mark, author of the quote and Professor of Anatomy at Harvard College, went on to explaore the histoloy of the worm and its important anatomical and structural features. The trematodes resemble Egyptian sarcophagi and are currently used in studies in parasitological studies at MBL's Josephine Bay Paul Center in Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution. Advances have been made in our understanding of tropical diseases such as schistomiaisis, and in the development of several antihelminithic drugs. Platodes can build or rebuild any part of their body and are thus choice subjects for investigation of cell regeneration and differentiation. Studies such as these are of crucial importance in the current debate on stem cell research.

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