Two very similar studies investigating a single gene's role in pathogen susceptibility have come to pretty much opposite conclusions. A __C. elegans__ gene that was previously shown to affect innate immunity might simply alter the worm's behavior, according to a new linkurl:study;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/323/5912/382 published today (Jan. 15) in __Science,__ although some scientists remain skeptical of the paper's findings. Last September, a team led by linkurl:Alejandro Aballay,;http://mgm.duke.edu/faculty/aballay/ a geneticist at the Duke University Medical Center, published a report in Science showing that the __C. elegans__ gene __npr-1__ -- a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is known to affect oxygen sensation -- controls behavior as well as the worm's innate immune responses in sensory neurons. But now, linkurl:Dennis Kim;http://web.mit.edu/biology/www/facultyareas/facresearch/kim.html of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, together with Princeton University's linkurl:Leonid Kruglyak,;http://www.eeb.princeton.edu/faculty/Kruglyak/Kruglyak.html report that __npr-1__ confers its pathogen fighting abilities solely by helping worms wriggle away from noxious bacteria, rather than through innate immunity....
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