Researchers Change Sexual Orientation in Nematodes

Salt Lake City, UT – C. elegans is a common species of nematode, a tiny roundworm barely a millimeter long that normally lives in fruit. It's a wonderful species for research on brain function, in part because its little brain has only 302 cells. Researchers at the University of Utah's new Brain Institute have discovered they can change the sexual behavior of these nematodes by making changes in their brains, and in the process determine how one set of genes influences behavior. Eric Jorgensen is a professor of biology and the scientific director of the University of Utah Brain Institute. He spoke to KUER's Dan Bammes.