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'Psychic cells': Scientists discover cells can communicate through physical barriers

Scientists at UCLA and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science have discovered a possible method by which cancer cells and dying cells communicate with nearby normal nerve cells without being physically connected to them.

Dr. Keith Norris, senior author of the research and assistant dean for clinical and translational science at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said the study contributes to the understanding of cell communication, which until now was known to take place only through direct contact or direct stimulation of receptors in the cells of molecules known as ligands or in hormones, signaling factors, nerves and other pathways.

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