Membrane messengers: Extracellular vesicles

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Abstract

For many years, it seems, researchers have had only a limited understanding of cellular communication. That cells could talk to one another via secreted hormones and growth factors was well known. That they also communicate using elaborate vesicular messages written in nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids was not. These vesicles play key roles in both development and disease. Now, researchers are developing new tools and strategies to study them and to exploit their potential in both diagnostics and therapeutics. By Jeffrey M. Perkel

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