Scientists from Duke University captured the cellular break-ins in C. elegans, a transparent worm that’s often used as a model for human biology. The cellular invasions are a normal part of the body’s development — but in cancer cells, the process goes haywire and leads to metastasis.
Great article that highlights some of the strengths of C. elegansfor investigating higher level processes beyond what can be easily studied using cell culture. In this case alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Also helped expose me to the a new descriptor for C. elegans worms – intron-rich.
Robbie Rae from Liverpool John Moores University discussed his latest research on how he showed that snails use their shells to trap and kill parasites in a fascinating article published on the independent news site The Conversation. His study has shown that snails evolved to use their shells in this battle as a way to encapsulate and kill the parasites as part of their immune system.
Interesting data using C. elegans for studying the impact your gut microbiome may have on your lifespan and healthspan from the Wang Lab at Baylor College of Medicine. The study highlights the power of C. elegans as a tool for whole animal discovery – the work would have been impossible to carry out using cultured cells and would have been prohibitively expensive in mice.