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Cilia are complex structures that have garnered interest because of their roles in
vertebrate development and their involvement in human genetic disorders. In contrast
to multicellular invertebrates in which cilia are restricted to specific cell types,
these organelles are found almost ubiquitously in vertebrate cells, where they serve
a diverse set of signaling functions. Here, we highlight properties of vertebrate
cilia, with particular emphasis on their relationship with other subcellular structures,
and explore the physiological consequences of ciliary dysfunction.