Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado

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Multicellular organisms possessing relatively long life spans are subjected to diverse, constant, and often intense intrinsic and extrinsic challenges to their survival. Animal and plant tissues wear out as part of normal physiological functions and can be lost to predators, disease, and injury. Both kingdoms survive this wide variety of insults by(More)
The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is rapidly emerging as a model organism for the study of regeneration, tissue homeostasis and stem cell biology. The recent sequencing, assembly and annotation of its genome are expected to further buoy the biomedical importance of this organism. In order to make the extensive data associated with the genome sequence(More)
What do Charles Darwin and the dancer Isadora Duncan have in common? Apparently, they shared and deeply admired a mutual friend: the German biologist Ernst Haeckel. A towering figure in the intellectual and scientific circles of the late 19 th and early 20 th century, Haeckel's name has been relegated to the shadows of modern thought. In fact, when the name(More)
Cell differentiation is an essential process for the development, growth, reproduction, and longevity of all multicellular organisms, and its regulation has been the focus of intense investigation for the past four decades. The study of natural and induced stem cells has ushered an age of re-examination of what it means to be a stem or a differentiated(More)
Neoblasts are an abundant, heterogeneous population of adult stem cells (ASCs) that facilitate the maintenance of planarian tissues and organs, providing a powerful system to study ASC self-renewal and differentiation dynamics. It is unknown how the collective output of neoblasts transit through differentiation pathways to produce specific cell types. The(More)
Technological advances in biology have begun to dramatically change the way we think about evolution, development, health and disease. The ability to sequence the genomes of many individuals within a population, and across multiple species, has opened the door to the possibility of answering some long-standing and perplexing questions about our own genetic(More)
Freshwater planarians are best known for their ability to regenerate complete animals from tiny fragments of their bodies. This regenerative ability is based upon totipotent, somatic stem cells present in the adult planarian. Planarians are free-living representatives of the Platyhelminthes, an understudied yet evolutionarily and clinically important(More)
Planarian neoblasts are pluripotent, adult somatic stem cells and lineage-primed progenitors that are required for the production and maintenance of all differentiated cell types, including the germline. Neoblasts, originally defined as undifferentiated cells residing in the adult parenchyma, are frequently compared to embryonic stem cells yet their(More)
The interrelationship between endogenous microbiota, the immune system, and tissue regeneration is an area of intense research due to its potential therapeutic applications. We investigated this relationship in Schmidtea mediterranea, a model organism capable of regenerating any and all of its adult tissues. Microbiome characterization revealed a high(More)