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Worms hijack development to foster cannibalism, study finds

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Conventional wisdom holds that genes determine the shape and structure (morphology) of animals, but something else may be at play. A new study shows that a roundworm (P. pacificus) regulates its offspring's morphology by using a potent cocktail of small-molecule signals. Exposure to trace quantities of these chemically unusual molecules can turn genetically identical juveniles into very different types of adults.

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