We would not expect a baby to join a team or participate in social situations that require sophisticated communication. Yet, most developmental biologists have assumed that young cells, only recently born from stem cells and known as “progenitors,” are already competent at inter-communication with other cells. New research shows that infant cells have to go through a developmental process that involves specific genes before they can take part in the group interactions that underlie normal cellular development and keep our tissues functioning smoothly.

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