Worm moms pump eggs full of toxin, demand they inherit an antidoteEnlarge / A male C. elegans, with the pharynx in the end that’s on the left. (credit: University of Wisconsin)
Remember that part in Casino Royale when Bond sips his martini, realizes he has been poisoned, then rushes out to his Aston Martin to inject himself with the antidote that Q thoughtfully stashed beforehand? This is exactly like that.

Except, instead of Daniel Craig (*sigh*), it’s with worm larvae.
The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is a favorite laboratory model organism of geneticists and developmental biologists, mainly because it is simple, transparent, and easy to grow in bulk. Most worm researchers use the standard N2 strain, typically called the Bristol strain because it was isolated from mushroom compost in Bristol, England, in 1951.
Having a common reference strain like this is undoubtedly useful for labs spread across the world.

But, like all species, C. elegans harbors genetic variability.
Studies of wild strains can yield insights that would be missed if we assumed that N2 represented the entirety of worm genetics.
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