New UV switch makes worms move

Michael Day [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Get out that disco ball—it seems mutant worms have some brand new moves to show us. New research, led by Kenneth Miller (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City), looked at phototaxia in Caenorhabditis elegans, which lack eyes as well as any of the proteins known to transduce light signals. The group used C. elegans mutants engineered to lack the synaptic signaling molecules cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and diacylglycerol (DAG), resulting in paralysis and lack of response to harsh physical stimuli. When they exposed these paralyzed C. elegans mutants to ultraviolet (UV) light, they observed a strong locomotive response (PLoS Biol. 6, e198; 2008).

Lab Anim. (NY) 37, 392 (2008).
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