flatworms in the news

It’s not every day that Macrostomum research makes the news, but I guess with this particular paper – given the subject-matter – it was a pretty safe bet. Still, delighted to see quite wide coverage of our findings in the media today, including these stories:

Flatworm uses ‘hypodermic penis’ to inject sperm into own headThe Guardian (UK)

“Who’s Your Daddy? This Worm Injects Itself With Sperm to Get Pregnant” NBC News (US)

“These flatworms plunge their penises into their own heads to inject themselves with sperm (when they must).” Discover Magazine (US)

“Lonely flatworms inject sperm into their own heads” Science (AAAS, US)

“Flatworm can self-fertilize by stabbing itself in the head” Science News (SSP, US)

“This worm stabs its own sperm into its head to reproduce” Wired (UK)

“Plattwurm schießt sich Spermien in den Kopf” Bild der Wissenschaft (Germany)

“Ein besonders bizarrer Fall tierischer Selbstbesamung” Der Standard (Austria)

“Researchers discover hermaphrodite worm that uses ‘needle-like penis’ to shoot sperm into its own HEAD if it can’t find a mate” Daily Mail (UK)

There’s also a press release about the research available on the Uni Basel website, published in English and German as “The Bizarre Mating Habits of Flatworms” and “Die seltsamen Sexualpraktiken des Plattwurms”.

And the results seem to be attracting a fair amount of comment on social media – much of it unprintable here! (The IFLS post on Facebook, for example – web version here –  had gathered >85k likes and >10k comments in just the first few hours.)

Update: A selection of other outlets that covered it too…

“Wurm steckt sich Penis in den Kopf, um zu überleben” Focus Online (Germany)

“Single? Egal! Dieser Wurm befruchtet sich selbst” Stern (Germany)

“Kuriose Besamung im Kopf” LaborWelt (Germany)

“Worm breeds by injecting sperm into its own head when there are no mates around” The Mirror (UK)

“Insolite. Faute de partenaire, des vers plats s’auto-fécondent” Ouest France

The Weirdest Science Stories of 2015 SBS (Australia)


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