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How a worm became a swim model
Date:10/19/2013

neering of the worm's neural system, explained Jerzy Blawzdziewicz, one of the authors of the new study.

"The worm executes a finite set of body shapes," he said. "We have described these gaits mathematically, and now we have combined the gait models with accurate models of the flow generated by the nematode body during swimming. This unique approach has led us to determine the dependence of swimming velocity on the form of the gait and allowed us to model the turning maneuvers of the worm." The next step is to develop locomotion models that combine the reported hydrodynamic analysis with a new description of neuromuscular control of the nematode body.

Blawzdziewicz and his collaborator Siva Vanapalli are enthusiastic about the prospects. "Our future quantitative studies of nematode navigation through complex environments will benefit analyses of the behavioral response of nematodes exposed to compounds affecting neurons or muscles in drug screening assays. Moreover, we anticipate that our studies may find applications in engineering of smart, millimeter-scale soft robots."


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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
240-535-4954
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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