RNA interference (RNAi) in the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, occurs systemically. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) provided in the diet can be absorbed from the gut lumen and distributed throughout the body, triggering RNAi in tissues that are not exposed to the initial dsRNA trigger. This is in marked contrast to other animals, in which RNAi does not spread from targeted tissues to neighboring cells. Here, we report the characterization of mutants defective in the systemic aspect of RNAi, but not in the core RNAi process itself. Analysis of these mutants suggests that dsRNA uptake is a specific process involving several unique proteins.