Why study C.elegans?

Each year, scientist world wide are experimenting with C.elegans. C.elegans are a primitive an organism that possesses many of the essential biological characteristics associated with humans.  So what does this mean in laymen’s terms? Basically C. elegans possess the least number of biological entities and by studying them we can use them as a basis for understanding our system. Think of these worms as a how to guide for dummies.

C.elegans are a single cell organism that has a unique process of developing into adult stage.  They start this process with embryonic cleavage stage, and then proceed through morphogenesis to the adult stage.Like humans, C elegans nervous system is controlled with a ‘brain’ called the circumpharyngeal nerve ring.  The nerve ring exhibits brain like behavior-capable of learning rudimentary things.Adult C.elegans produce sperm and eggs. Their development, nerve function, behavior and how they age, are determined by their genes: C. elegans are only 1 mm long and is usually grown on Petri plates seeded with E.coli bacteria.  However, all 959 somatic cells of the C.elegans are visible with a microscope. Average life span of C.elegan is a mere 2-3 weeks. After reproduction they slowly age, losing vigor and tha die. All in all, C. elegans provides the researcher around the world  with “complexity and tractability”.

Growing C.elegans

When growing C. elegans, large amounts can be grown in different mediums. The most popular is liquid medium. C. elegans are usually grown on S Medium using concentrated doses of  E. coli bacteria as their food.  Starting off, it is wise to grow just one generation of worms before harvesting them. After the worms produce multiple generations, harvesting should be done.

One should make a concentrated plate of bacteria. This plate can be store around 4/5°C for several weeks. One can store the plates in a subzero freezer (-70°C) indefinitely. Generally speaking, it is a sound idea to have ample amounts of  E. coli available for the C.elegans. However, the amount of food the worms will need will depend on the starting inoculate of worms and the length of time the worms are grown.

Here are some of the common reagents used in growing C.elegans


  •  NaCl, K2 HPO4, 6 g KH2PO4, 1 ml cholesterol , water. Sterilize it  by using an autoclave machine.
  • 1 M Potassium citrate pH 6.0
  • Some trace metals solutions
  • 1 M CaCl2
  • 2 or 3  large plates of C. elegans
  • food, ie. concentrated  E. coli


Inoculate the Medium with a does of  E. coli  from an previously made culture. Make sure you wash each plates of C. elegans properly. Shake the flask using a shaker at 20°C for a predetermined amount of time. Make sure the flask is shaken vigorously to ensure the culture is well oxygenated. Monitor each culture by examining them under a microscope. When examining the C.elegans, if their food supply is depleted, it is time to replenish the supply. However one must also harvest them, which is usually done  on the 5th day. Sterilize the harvesting tool, and transfer 5 or so C.elegans onto a new plate

Why use LaTeX?

 LaTeX is a document mark-up language and preparation system for the original Tex base program.  LaTeX was originally created in the early 1980s by Leslie lamport at SRI International.  LaTeX  refers  to the language in which documents are written in, but not the language of the editor.  LaTeX provide the high-level powers of TeX, but in a user friendly format. This is  because the TeX formatting commands are very low-level, whereas the LaTeX commands are high level , making it much simpler for end-users to use LaTeX.

Why use LaTeX?

Short and sweet- if you’re writing a document with special characters, and you must follow a certain format, LaTeX is your friend! Let’s say you’re working on your Master’s or doctoral dissertation. The last thing you want to do is concentrate on formatting. LaTeX lets you concentrate on what you are writing – not the format, structure, numbering or any other distractions. You can just write!

Advantages of using LaTeX

  • It does not matter if you’re writing one page or a book, LaTeX can be used for any length.
  • When converting documents into PDFs, LaTeX high quality output produces elegant and professional work.
  • Unlike its competitor, Microsoft Word, LaTeX does not crash – it has great performance
  • Can be used with the bibliography/reference package
  • LaTeX files are just text files, so the files are tiny!
  • It’s free, which is awesome!
  • Platform independent, meaning it can be used on any computer
  • Once you learn LaTeX, you never have to write a document in Word again!

With this being said, LaTeX is an awesome tool which can be used to concentrate on writing, letting the program format everything else. Here are some examples….


These are some simple examples of mathematical equations using LaTeX

y= c^{x^{2}}
\frac{1}{2}{x^{2}}+y^{2}= k

Lets say we are asked to solve the following problem, but it has to be typed (a random problem made up for you!)

A particle falls toward the ground and is solely acted on by the force of gravity. The height from which the particle began falling (h) is greater than our traditional approximation and F=mg can not be use to solve this problem. so describe the motion.

F=  -\frac{KmM}{y^{2}} \rightarrow m\frac{dv}{dt}=  -\frac{KmM}{y^{2}}\rightarrow-\frac{g R^{2}}{y^{2}}
and lets see if you can solve the rest…