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Press Release 08-113

Crossed (Evolutionary) Signals?

New genome research provides insights and raises new questions about how multi-cellular organisms evolved

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An illustration of a choanoflagellate, a unique single-cell organism.

An illustration of a choanoflagellate. Researchers have discovered that these single-cell organisms are unique in that they contain molecules that cells in multi-cellular organisms use to communicate with each other. These findings provide new insights into how multi-cellular organisms evolved and they suggest other uses for these communication molecules that have yet to be discovered.

Credit: Mateus Zica

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Dr. William Lim and David Pincus of the University of California, San Francisco discuss their findings regarding the chemical link between multi-cell organisms and a particular single-cell creature.

Credit: National Science Foundation/University of California, San Francisco