As described in About C. elegans, C. elegans is a model organism that is used to research various fundamental biology questions. For example, how a cell knows when to do what and what makes a successful cell division are intriguing and important questions to understand.
One thing to keep in mind is that current biological research is often multidisciplinary in nature. The solving of one research question often sheds light in different fields of study. For instance, the study of cell division generates insights not only for cell biology but also developmental biology. Below, some of the fundamental questions currently being pursued are categorized into 5 areas of research. Also, due to the multidisciplinary nature of scientific inquiry, research questions may be cross listed among the fields.
How are questions in C. elegans research solved? To gain biological insights using the worm various tools, procedures and methodologies first need to be established and then standardized. Methods as simple as how to keep a worm happy in the lab to complicated techniques, such as generating green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion constructs, are vital to worm research.
Commonly used tools, procedures and methodologies in the worm research community include: