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Science sometimes progresses by persistence and attention to detail. This was the case for the recent discovery that a bacterium and the fruit fly apparently share a strategy for signal release, despite one being a prokaryote and the other a eukaryote.1 The new view suggests that quorum sensing in bacteria and signal transduction in multicellular organisms may represent a continuum in communication skills. "This paper is really the first demonstration that some aspects of extracellular signaling in multicellular organisms are conserved in bacteria," wrote Ralph Isberg, professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, who reviewed the paper for the Faculty of 1000.

Graduate student Marco Gallio catalyzed the research collaboration that revealed the signaling connection. "In late 1998, Marco became interested in one of...

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