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Far Away, Yet So Close

C. elegans-assisted breakthroughs in medicine show that the genetics of man and worm are surprisingly similar.

By Linda Keslar // Illustrations by Linn Olofsdotter // Winter 2009
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A number of C. elegans genes have human counterparts, making the worm a remarkably useful modeling tool for human disease and drug development. Here, a few key findings about genes in worms that have informed understanding of human conditions.

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A Mighty Worm

C. elegans, a 959-celled Nobel magnet, helped explain cell suicide and launch genomics, and could now revolutionize drug development.

A Rich Lineage

Devotees to the worm C. elegans trace their research roots.

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