C. elegans and Alcohol

Grade Level: 5 - 12 Age Range: 10 - 18 Lesson Length: 1 - 2 classes
C. elegans under the microscope

C. elegans is a free-living nematode. It is small—growing to about 1 mm in length—and lives in the soil (especially in rotting vegetation) where it survives by feeding on microbes such as bacteria. Students design, conduct, and analyze a controlled experiment testing the effects of alcohol on the roundworm C. elegans.

Chemotaxis using C. elegans is referenced in this lesson which is an excellent follow-up to the Chemotaxis lesson.

This 9-minute video shows the life cycle and reproduction of C. elegans in graphical representations as well as footage of the worms under a microscope. The presentation is split into 6 sections and you can jump directly to the section you're interested in. www.jove.com/science-education/5110/caenorhabditis-elegans-development-and-reproduction

For culturing C. elegans, see Laboratory 2 and 3 at www.silencinggenomes.org

This lesson is one of several BrainU lesson plans adapted for inclusion 2011-2012 Curriculum Materials for the 2011 Nobel Conference on The Brain and Being Human. Teacher resources can be found at https://gustavus.edu/events/nobelconference/2011/teachers/

We recommend the card game activity found in the NIH lesson entitled The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology from the Study of Addiction. You may download Lesson 4 (the activity is on pages 87-92) at https://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih2/addiction/default.html.

C. elegans is the subject of an exciting Kickstarter-funded project to create an accurate, open-source digital clone that can be used in research. Read the May 24, 2014 article in The Economist.

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