Sponges. Most sponges are marine. Sponges are the simplest of the multicellular animals. They have no organ systems They are assymetrical They have no nervous system They are characterized by numerous canals and chambers that open to the outside by way of pores
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part of a colony
Elephant Ear Sponge
There are about 10,000 species of sponges
Some sponges produce toxins
The purpose of these toxins is to ward off predators that would feed on the sponges.
Asexual - budding and fragmentation
Sexual reproduction is timed to environmental cues such as water temperature, tides, and the phase of the moon.
1)No definite symmetry. 2)Body multicellular, no tissues, no organs. 3)Cells surround a water filled space but there is no true body cavity. 4)All are sessile, (live attached to something as an adult). 5)Reproduce sexually or asexually. 6)Has no nervous system. 7)Has a larval stage which is planktonic. 8)Lives in aquatic environments, mostly marine. 9)All are filter feeders. 10)Often have a skeleton of spicules.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria occur annually, mostly in developing countries near the equator, and that the disease claims a million lives a year.
Tuberculosis infects about a third of the world's population and kills an estimated 3 million people each year.
Several sponge species of sponges produce compounds that show great promise as a drug to combat malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
Many compounds extracted from sponges have also anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. Back in the 1950s, chemists found compounds in a sponge in the waters off the coast of Florida that wound up as antiviral drugs Acyclovir (Zovirax®), to treat herpes, and Cytarabine (Cytosar®), to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
In 1998 a deep-sea sponge discovered in the waters off the Bahamas is being studied as treatment of cancers
A Japanese sponge has shown promise as a treatment for melanoma and leukemia and is currently in pre-clinical trials
A Palauan shallow-water sponge is easily synthesized and is being developed for treatment of osteoarthritis.