Parasitic worms pose a major global health threat to humans and animals, but a major study that sequenced the genomes of scores of worms could lead to new and more efficient ways to treat illness, reports Iowa State University. ISU Professor of biomedical sciences Tim Day co-authored the study recently published in Nature Genetics. An international team of scientists conducted genomic studies of 81 worm species, documenting nearly a million new genes. Researchers found some of those gene families show up in more than one species, meaning a single treatment could be effective against multiple parasites, spanning roundworms and flatworms.