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'Worm speak' uses chemicals to communicate

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A species of small, transparent roundworms have a highly evolved language in which they combine chemical fragments to create precise molecular messages that control social behavior, reports a new study from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) at Cornell and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The research, published in the January issue of PLoS Biology (10:1), holds promise in helping to develop new treatments for the more than 20 percent of the world's population infected with nematodes and for agricultural producers whose crops are destroyed by the pests.

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