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Researchers frequently turn to C. elegans to learn about not only their biology, but our own. C. elegans is one of the most intimately understood species in biology—the first animal to have its complete genome sequenced or its neural circuitry completely mapped. How did this simple worm become so well studied and a fixture in laboratories around the world?

Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Bartel have identified new genetic sequences that can lead to the degradation of cellular regulators called microRNAs. The finding will allow scientists to learn more about the microRNA degradation pathway, which is critical for some species to survive.

A new paper from the lab of Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann reveals how primordial germ cells in flies migrate from one end of an embryo to the other during development. The work could have implications for how scientists study germ cells in vivo, as well as other motile cells such as cancer cells.

Kara McKinley is an assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University who studies the regenerative properties of the uterus. She completed her doctoral research in Whitehead Institute Member Iain Cheeseman’s lab in 2016.