Jeremy (snail)

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Jeremy
Species Cornu aspersum
Breed Sinistral
Sex hermaphrodite
Hatched London, UK
Died 11 October 2017[1]
Owner University of Nottingham
Residence United Kingdom
Offspring 56
Appearance Left-coiled
Named after Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy was a left-coiled garden snail investigated by biologists. Jeremy died on 11 October 2017, aged "at least two" years.[1] The snail had a rare genetic mutation which caused its shell to coil counterclockwise; in most snails the shell coils clockwise. Environmental factors may have caused the left coiling although it is not definitely proven to be a factor and is considered unlikely. This probable mutation is extremely rare, believed to only occur once in a million individuals.[2] The snail was named after the left-wing British Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn, on account of it being a 'lefty' snail.[3][4][5] The snail became famous worldwide after a public appeal to find other left-coiled snails for a mate.[6][7]

As a rare genetic mutation, the snail was studied by researchers from the University of Nottingham. It is hoped that genes identified from this snail and its offspring will help scientists unlock genetic markers in humans and animals.[8]

Life[edit]

A retired scientist discovered the snail in southwest London. He contacted the University of Nottingham and sent them the snail. A group of researchers, led by "resident snail expert" Dr Angus Davison, subsequently launched a public appeal to find another 'lefty' snail as a mate.[9] Due to the unique positioning of the reproductive body parts in anticlockwise-coiled snails, they are only able to mate with snails that also have anticlockwise shells.[10][11] Two other snails were discovered and sent to the university.[12] However, the two new snails mated with each other, producing 170 clockwise coiled 'normal' snails.[13] One of the left coiled snails later mated with Jeremy and had 56 offspring, which were also all 'normal' with clockwise-coiling shells.[14]

It is believed that the genetic mutation might reappear in a later generation due to a recessive gene.[15][16] In snails, a shell-coiling trait may reappear later in another generation, even if a previous generation appears normal, because the gene which causes the mutation is hereditary.[17][18]

Further research[edit]

While studying this snail, Davison discovered a gene "which determines whether a snail's shell twists in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction". He said that body asymmetry in humans and other animals could be affected by the same gene and that the research could help understand the positioning of organs according to genetic markers.[19][20]

Davison was quoted as saying:

This may be the end for Jeremy, but now the snail has finally produced offspring, this is a point in our long-term research goal. Ultimately, we would like to know why these snails are so rare, but also how the left and right sides of the body are signalled at the molecular level, and whether a similar process is taking place during human development.[21]

Research was expected to continue on the offspring of these snails, and the University of Nottingham had seven counterclockwise coiled snails by October 2017.[22]

It was hoped that this research will lead to insights into rare diseases like Situs inversus and Situs ambiguus where the positioning of organs in the body is reversed or misplaced due to genetic malformations.[23][24][25]

Sinistral snails[edit]

Jeremy was an example of a rare sinistral snail in a species which normally has right-handed shell-coiling.[26] However, in some other species of snail, the counterclockwise shell-coiling is quite common, and in a few cases counterclockwise shell coiling is the normal direction.[27][28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jeremy the 'lefty' snail dies days after mate has young, at BBC.com; published October 12, 2017; retrieved November 4, 2017; 'The university said it could not be sure of Jeremy's exact age but he was "at least two".'
  2. ^ "In loving memory of Jeremy, the one-in-a-million mutant snail". Popular Science. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  3. ^ Frymorgen, Tomasz (20 October 2017). "RIP Jeremy: The tragic tale of a mutant snail". BBC Three. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Mandelbaum, Ryan F. "Lefty Snail Jeremy Has Died, Bringing a Heartwarming Story to an End". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Jeremy the snail who struggled to find love has died". ITV News. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Breese, Chris (12 October 2017). "Jeremy the 'one in a million' lefty snail dies at University of Nottingham". Notts TV News. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  7. ^ Barlow, Jamie (8 November 2016). "One-in-a-million Nottingham snail Jeremy finds love in Suffolk". Notts TV News. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  8. ^ Sandeman, Kit (12 October 2017). "Jeremy the 'one in a million' snail dies, but leaves its own scientific legacy". Nottingham Post. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "Find Jeremy the 'lefty' snail a mate". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  10. ^ "Jeremy the lefty snail has died a proud papa". CBC Radio. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  11. ^ "Is it love for Jeremy the lefty snail?". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Jeremy the snail finds 'lefty' lover". BBC News. 8 November 2016. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Rare 'lefty' snail left on the shelf". BBC News. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  14. ^ Klein, JoAnna (12 October 2017). "Jeremy the Lefty Snail Is Dead. His Offspring Are All Right". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "Tragic Love Triangle Is Sad For Lonely Rare Snail, Still Good For Science". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "Jeremy, The Lonely, Left-Twisting Snail, Dies — But Knows Love Before The End". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  17. ^ Miglani, Gurbachan S. (26 August 2002). Advanced Genetics. CRC Press. ISBN 9781439892930. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. 
  18. ^ Hartl, Daniel L.; Jones, Elizabeth W. (2005). Genetics: Analysis of Genes and Genomes. Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN 9780763715113. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. 
  19. ^ "RIP Jeremy the lefty garden snail". Phys.org. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "Jeremy The Lefty Snail Has Died, But He Leaves A Legacy At Last". IFLScience. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  21. ^ "Jeremy the 'lefty' snail dies". BBC News. 12 October 2017. Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  22. ^ Horton, Helena (12 October 2017). "Jeremy the 'lefty' snail dies – but not before finally producing offspring". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  23. ^ "Jeremy the lefty snail has now been rejected by two other lefty snails". Popular Science. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  24. ^ "Are you left-handed? Your body could be back to front". The Independent. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  25. ^ Weerakkody, Yuranga. "Heterotaxy syndrome". Radiopaedia. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  26. ^ Knapton, Sarah (21 October 2016). "Meet Jeremy the lonely snail hoping to find a 'lefty'mate". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  27. ^ Fletcher, Hugh; Hickey, Ivor; Winter, Paul (21 August 2012). Instant Notes in Genetics. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781134184569. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. 
  28. ^ Fletcher, Hugh L.; Hickey, G. Ivor (10 May 2012). Genetics. Garland Science. ISBN 9780415693141. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. 

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