View of a researcher, equipped with a low-power microscope, manipulating gonad tissue from a nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to provide material for study of its chromosomes. C. elegans, a soil-dwelling bisexual worm, is currently the subject of intense research aimed at decoding its genome, or genetic blueprint. It is ideal for this because it has a tendency to reproduce by self-fertilization which results in offspring that are all identical to the parent. Furthermore, although it exhibits a variety of differentiated cells, including nerves, it is very simple in structure.
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