Little worm, big impact
How does a fertilized egg develop into a fully functional organism like you and I? How do specialized cells, like those that make up your skin, heart or gut, learn their identities? We answer these important questions in the lab using little humble nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans.
With only 959 cells (labeled in the picture), Caenorhabditis elegans offers a simple and highly trackable system to study cellular behavior during development. As many biological processes are conserved between worms and humans, studies in worms have provided numerous important insights into the basic mechanisms of development significant to human health. “You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm” - Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.