Watching Worms Wiggle
Professor Greg Stephens searches for patterns in the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans, a transparent worm about one millimeter in length. He and colleagues at Princeton University directly analyzed high-resolution videos of the worm’s movement and discovered that four prototypical shapes could account for essentially all the wiggles in the worm’s body shape during movement. These prototypical shapes also allow for a unified description of behavior across a diverse range of worm species, which can be as genetically different from each other as we are from fish.
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