Untangling mysteries of the brain—with the remarkable biology of squid
Squid's giant nerve fibers have been essential to research for decades. Now breakthroughs in editing squid genomes could lead to a more complete understanding of nervous systems in general.
“We’ve got tuuuuuubes!” fisherman Matt Rissell shouts as he leans over the gunwale of the Skipjack to check his line. After a salty April morning spent bobbing off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the first squid of the season are coming in.
Rissell reels and a foot-long male Doryteuthis pealeii (though everyone on this boat refers to it by its older name Loligo) emerges from the waves spouting water and waggling its two tentacles and eight sucker-covered arms. The iridescent skin of its mantle—the “tube”—is flecked with pink, teal, and gold, until in a flash, as Rissell brings the squid over the side, it transforms to an angry maroon.
Other boats are out for the squid run, too. Poles bend across