This blog is a place where I will translate interesting findings in biomedical and basic science research from scientific jargon to plain old English. The bottom line: You don't need a PhD to understand science!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Worm Astronauts

I'm in a playful mood, and I've been into limericks lately, so here's one about a recent press release from the University of Nottingham:

There once was a small little worm
Called C. elegans, he wriggles and squirms
Shot into space
For the human race
To find ways to keep space muscles firm

Researchers from the University of Nottingham are using microscopic roundworms, called C. elegans (a very common model system used in MANY biology labs around the world), to test out techniques that might be able to prevent or reduce muscle degeneration in astronauts during spaceflight. C. elegans are ideal to send into space due to their small size (around 1mm), well established development, and simple techniques for genetic manipulation.

The full press release can be found here:


  1. That's really interesting. How do they send them into space? I like your poem :)

  2. They were sent up on the Space Shuttle Atlantis...that must have been a shocker!