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Why C. elegans is a good model organism

  1. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    besides the fact it is a eukaryote, what makes this little nematode worm a good model for human disease? Also besides the fact the lineage of every single cell of the organism has been determined?

    How does its immune system work, what organs does it have?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    I am always interested in what the Latin names of organisms really mean.. how about Caenorhabditis elegans..? OK, elegans makes sense since it is such an elegant model organism.. but Caenorhabditis?

    Greek. kaino RECENT; rhabdos ROD; Latin elegans elegant I'll just answer my own questions :wink:

    Cool model of the worm which interactively highlights its internal organs: http://www.mcb.arizona.edu/wardlab/Caenowhat.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2004
  4. Are you talkiing to yourself again, Monique?

    :smile:

    They are model organisms for many reasons. Easy to work with, short life, fast reproduction, easy to store, and probably most important is that there is tons of existing data. The data on model organisms grow exponetially, the more existing data on a particular organism, the more likely that organism will be studied, ect....j

    Nautica
     
  5. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    Lol, you noticed? I seem to be very impatient when it comes to not knowing things :wink:

    So besides the logistics, which is a good point you just mentioned.. there must be caveats. I mean, the mouse is not for nothing the preferred model organism, since it is a vertebrate and thus much more closely related.

    Is C. elegans immune system anything like the human immune system? And I know it has neurons, digestive tract, genitalia, reproductive cells.. how about other internal organs..
     
  6. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
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    I know absolutely nothing about its immunology, but something cool it does have is embryology. So you can discover what all those non coding stretches of DNA do about control and get a bit ahead in the EVO-DEVO sweepstakes.

    By the way kaino = recent. Recent in regard to what? Nifty recent little rod?
     
  7. It is also see through, so extremely easy to observe.

    Nautica
     
  8. iansmith

    iansmith 1,430
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    The immune system of invertebrates can be quite dissimilar compare to vertebrates. It appears that inv. do not possess an adaptive immune system but there is much debate about this. It has been observed that cockroaches are immune to a second dose of toxin. The innate immune system also appear to have more similarities but there is major difference. Toll receptor appear to be absent from C. elegans but play a major role in drosophila immune system and Toll-like receptor appear to have an important role in human. Also inv. secrete spp. specific antimicrobial compounds whereas in ver. it appears to be absent.

    The reasons listed by Nautica are probably the only reason why these organisms are used but I would add that C. elegans, E. coliand other model organisms are just use because there were easily accessible 50 years ago and many people did reasearches on them but many of them are crappy models. These models are good for the general knowledge but it is the specifics that matters.

    There is another group of nematodes called Rhabditis. Rhabditis and Caenorhabditis were probably grouped together when classified then they split them up and gave the "recent" name
     
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