DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Free-living soil nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans). C. elegans is as primitive organism that shares many of the essential biological characteristics that are central problems of human biology. It is small roundworm, at about 1mm in length. In the laboratory it is grown in agar Petri dishes and is feed bacteria. The adult consists of a tube with the exterior cuticle which inside contains two smaller tubes, the pharynx and gut, and the reproductive system. Most of the volume of the animal is taken up by the reproductive system. Two sexes occur, a self-fertilizing hermaphrodite and a male. There are 959 somatic cells in the hermaphrodite of which 300 are neurons. The nervous systems includes sense organs in the head which mediate responses to taste, smell, temperature and touch. Magnification x100 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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