This montage of tiny, transparent C. elegans—or roundworms—may offer insight into understanding human infertility. Researchers used fluorescent dyes to label the worm cells and watch the process of sex-cell division, called meiosis, unfold as nuclei (blue) move through the tube-like gonads. Such visualization helps the scientists identify mechanisms that enable these roundworms to reproduce successfully. Because meiosis is similar in all sexually reproducing organisms, what the scientists learn could apply to humans.
Courtesy of Abby Dernburg, a cell biologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Featured in the January 17, 2006, issue of Biomedical Beat. NIH/NIGMS