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Eyeless C. elegans worms can detect flashes of light, LSI researchers discover

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This video shows microscope images of a C. elegans roundworm retreating from a flash of ultraviolet light directed at its head. University of Michigan researchers discovered that the eyeless C. elegans worm possesses photoreceptor cells that detect light. Xu suspects the worm's primitive visual system serves a protective function, enabling the soil-dwelling worm to avoid damaging sunlight. Video by Shawn Xu, the University of Michigan.

Xu image

U-M Life Sciences Institute researcher Shawn Xu.
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A C. elegans roundworm under the microscope. The worms are about 1 millimeter long. Photo by Shawn Xu, the University of Michigan.