Just looking at these things makes my skin crawl. I don’t know how the Europeans can eat them.
I’m talking about the lamprey, a jawless fish that uses its suction-cup mouth to attach itself to other fish. Once attached, the lamprey’s impressive collection of scary looking teeth go to work and bore into its host, sucking out its flesh and drinking its blood. Despite the terrifying nature of this creature (which will surely give me nightmares tonight), it may play an important role in finding a cure for spinal cord injury.
Apparently, lampreys’ spinal cords are capable of spontaneously regenerating after injury. Researchers in Columbia, MO are currently studying this miraculous ability and looking for ways to apply it to humans. The belief is that the primitive fish have fewer channels through which calcium can enter the damaged areas of the spinal cord, thus preventing the build-up of thick scar tissue. Read more here.