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Worm Seeks Worm: Chemical Cues Drive Aggregation in Nematodes

Scientists have long seen evidence of social behavior among many species of animals, both on the earth and in the sea. Dolphins frolic together, lions live in packs, and hornets construct nests that can house a large number of the insects. And, right under our feet, it appears that nematodes -- also known as roundworms -- are having their own little gatherings in the soil. Until recently, it was unknown how the worms communicate to one another when it's time to come together. Now, however, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University have identified, for the first time, the chemical signals that promote aggregation.

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