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Manipulating Worms' Life Cycle Could Thwart Infection

Research has revealed a novel way to tinker with the life cycle of parasitic worms—suggesting new avenues to attack or prevent infections such as hookworm that plague an estimated 1.3 billion people worldwide.

The findings, published May 25, 2009, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, build on previous research in the harmless, free-living roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. That work illuminated a signaling pathway that initiates or ends a hibernation-like state in which C. elegans larvae stop eating and do not reproduce. The dormant state is called dauer diapause.
 
 

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