Caenorhabditis elegans, more commonly known as C. elegans are roundworms that contain a smooth-skinned transparency. They are free-living organisms that lack a respiratory and circulatory system (College of Biological Sciences, 2017). All species of worm live in temperate soil environments, however, researchers have recently found that C. elegans don’t only live in soil, but are also a colonizer of various microbe-rich habitats, like compost and fruits (Oswald 2017). Similar to humans and other mammals, this eukaryotic organism has a nervous system that functions similar to mammals but also contains two sexes. The two sexes that C.elegans possess are males and self-fertilizing hermaphrodites, the most common worm sex. All C. elegans must sustain a constant level of moisture, so that the worm can penetrate through the soil to draw bacteria and water from it (Oswald, 2017). Being tapered at both ends and containing exactly 959 cells, C. elegans make for an ideal model organism (Oswald, 2017). Recently, scientists have categorized nematode worms as one of the top model organisms for scientists to experiment on (What are model organisms?, 2017). C. elegans simplicity, mass reproduction, and cost-effectiveness of cultivation make for an effective model of a whole organism. C. elegans have recently been an important model for biomedical research, mainly in the effects of novel drugs (Kaletta, 2006). C. elegans have very few cells resulting in the ability to view individual cells easily under a microscope. The ability to view individual cells allow scientists to research this eukaryotic cell which shares similarities in cells with humans and other eukaryotic organisms (n.d., 2002). Ethanol is one of the four alcohols, so the testing of ethanol can give us a heads up for the effects of the other alcohols (Alcohol (Ethanol) Effects, Hazards & Warnings, n.d.). Ethanol is a clear liquid put into one’s body by drinking an alcoholic beverage. Ethanol is produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeast and is the most commonly abused drug (Alcohol (Ethanol) Effects, Hazards & Warnings, n.d.). Ethanol can also appear as a grain alcohol that can be blended with gasoline and used in motor vehicles (Ethanol: What Is It?, n.d.). However, in this study we will be testing the effects of the alcohol ethanol. With the consumption of ethanol, a human may feel the release of anxiety while it may also disinhibit one’s social inhibitions. Similar to humans, other mammals and invertebrates experienced a intoxicating effect. Researchers have found in previous labs about the effects of ethanol on C. elegans, “they exhibit obvious behavioral changes upon acute exposure to ethanol. Exogenous ethanol produces reversible, dose-dependent effects on the body bends responsible for locomotion, speed of movement and frequency of egg laying (McIntire, 2010).” For the lab that we are conducting, we plan to test the effects of ethanol on C. elegans. From prior experiments similar to this, our group’s hypothesis is that ethanol will intoxicate the worms and will affect their speed of movement, body bends in the worms, and rate of reproduction. As stated earlier, C. elegans are eukaryotic organisms so testing the effects of ethanol on them can give us an idea on how ethanol affects other eukaryotic organisms.   

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