The team also found that just by modulating their hormone therapy, they could stop the worm’s growth. The finding could provide a better understanding of the hormone’s control over human growth.
David Champlin, professor of biology at the University of Southern Maine and colleagues authored this study. Champlin compared a newly found hormone (called a metamorphosis trigger) to a starter engine in a car.
According to the research team, metamorphosis is regulated by the worm’s diet. By altering this diet, one can create exotic creatures, half-caterpillars and half-moths. Hybrids, for example, have a mouth of worms specialized for chewing plants and have bile straws like a butterfly. Beard, leg, and eye growth has also reached an intermediate stage.