It is well known how we humans respond to immediate stress—through a phenomenon we share with all animals known as fight or flight. During these times of increased threat, our bodies' systems work in concert to raise our heart rate, pump adrenaline, and sharpen our focus. Now scientists working at Northwestern University have discovered that these responses may be coordinated by special stress-receptor neurons, rather than in each cell individually. Previously, cells were assumed to each respond to stress conditions (such as an increase in temperature) on their own. But as research on the tiny C. elegans worm shows this month in the journal Science, neurons are responsible for coordinating the animal's cells and their reply.