How Mapping The Brain Of One Of Simplest Organisms With A Nervous System Gives Scientists Insight Into Humans
Scientists created a map of the roundworm's brain, a goal that many researchers aspire to with humans, as well. Experts say maps such as these could help explain the biology of mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The New York Times:
Stored In Synapses: How Scientists Completed A Map Of The Roundworm’s Brain
The tiny, transparent roundworm known as Caenorhabditis elegans is roughly the size of a comma. Its entire body is made up of just about 1,000 cells. A third are brain cells, or neurons, that govern how the worm wriggles and when it searches for food — or abandons a meal to mate. It is one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system. The circuitry of C. elegans has made it a common test subject among scientists wanting to understand how the nervous system works in other animals. (Sheikh, 7/3)
The Washington Post:
Research Into Worms’ Central Nervous System Could Bring Insight Into Mental Health Disorders
A connectome is a wiring schematic, like a circuit diagram, that shows how nerve cells link to each other and to organs. Building a human connectome is a long-sought goal among neuroscientists. It remains out of reach, despite investments such as the BRAIN Initiative, which the National Institutes of Health funded at more than $400 million in 2018. But researchers behind the worm connectome say maps such as this could help explain the biology of mental disorders that affect humans. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder “may be connectopathies. (Guarino, 7/6)