Joshua, thanks for the comments.
Worms do not clone themselves. The half without any hearts dies. Worms have five hearts that are bunched together in the anterior region of the worm (the head region). The half that has the hearts will usually live. However I’m not totally convinced they regenerate missing body parts. For instance, I doubt the structure of the anus is regrown - that would require cell differentiation to re-occur, something that normally only happens once in an organisms life.
However, lets just say that worms CAN regrow parts of their bodies.
Let me preface this by saying I’m not a biochemist, and I’m only like 80% sure of anything I state below.
So apparently the trauma of getting cut in half triggers the replication and transcription of special proteins that initiate the regrowth process. Will stretching a worm trigger these same proteins? I doubt it. I know of one protein called heat shock factor (hsf) which is responsible for “cleaning” up misfolded and/or damaged proteins. During times of high cell stress this protein is being synthesized in abundance. It makes sure refuse doesn’t “pile-up” inside your cells. This protein also happens to be highly conserved across organisms. Its ubiquitous because its so essential to life. Does this protein play a roll in worm regrowth? Does it play a role in PE biochemistry? I have no idea. My point is that just because a worm *may* regrow some body parts once its severed does not mean that the experiments I am proposing will be irrelevant to humans.
I don’t think anyone on this entire site has enough experience as a biologist/biochemist to say to what extent stretching worms applies to any cellular processes that occur during PE. No one even knows what happens to cells during PE in the first place, so how COULD anyone criticize these experiments.
Case and point: Recent research into the human aging process started by studying what I believe was called a nematode. Whatever it was called it was a tiny worm comprised exactly of 302 cells and being a millimeter or two long. The scientists who studied the human aging by using this tiny worm knew exactly what she was doing, and knew that the proteins involved were also highly conserved across organisms. I believe the protein they were studying was some insulin receptor or something. But the end result was that their findings were applicable to humans, exactly as they had hypothesized. (btw for anyone interested you can extend your lifespan a good deal by eating a calorie restricted diet, something like 80% of a normal diet.)
The fact of the matter is that PE is in the stone age and no one here can say whether or not findings obtained from worms would be applicable to PE and how MUCH they would be applicable. Ya, lets stay in the stone. What are those crazy people doing boiling rocks and trying to make something called “metal”. Ya, who needs metal? Stones work perfect for everything we want to do anyways!
-Still bitter the y2k bug was a dud.
-My dear boy, do you ask a fish how it swims? (No.) Or a bird how it flies? (No.) Of course not. They do it because they were born to do it...