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From worms, clues to how cells crawl around

To learn more about human cell migration works—and goes awry—biologists have turned to a tiny roundworm.

Despite their small size, the worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) actually share quite a few genes with humans.

“Migration is such a conserved process,” says Mihoko Kato, a senior research fellow in biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a co-author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “So whether it happens in C. elegans or in mammals, like humans, we think that many of the same genes are going to be involved.”

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