Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Miracle, the Mystery of Life. Unlocking the secrets of living organisms, of the human beings. Scientists favorite worm is preferred research tool.

How does life function, living organisms exist, behave and how are they controlled. How are they changing?

Unlocking the mystery of life, of ourselves, of the unlimited power of human being, of human brain, of human soul dwelling in human beings.
For good and bad.

Nematode C. elegans

C. elegans, a tiny free-living worm, was the very first animal species to be completely genetically sequenced and operates with many of the same genes that are found in human beings.

It is used by scientists as a model system to gain a fundamental understanding of the basic principles of life.

C. elegans is so simple it doesn't have a brain, only a minimal nervous system of 302 nerve cells (as opposed to the 100 billion or so in the human brain).

This 1mm long worm exhibits a wide range of behaviour, including foraging, learning, memory and even social behaviour.

Scientists are fascinated with this tiny worm, anticipating that this will be the first animal species to be completely understood.

...... how such a minimal nervous system can exhibit different behaviors and instantly switch between them ? ...

Several fundamental aspects of human biology, including the ability of cells to self-destruct to prevent cancer, and RNA interference, an important process for regulating how genes are used to make proteins, were first identified in C. elegans and later affirmed to be present in humans

Circadian rhytms
Circadian rhythms are important in all organisms because they regulate biological functions such as food intake, temperature, metabolic rate and sleep

Almost every organism on earth exhibits circadian rhythms -- periodic cycles of behavior or gene expression that repeat roughly every 24 hours.

These rhythms are generated by a circadian clock -- an internal time-keeping mechanism -- which can be entrained and synchronized by environmental signals such as temperature or light/dark cycles

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