In the small worm at left, biologists disabled a gene that controls smooth muscle contractions responsible for swallowing food, laying eggs and pooping. The worm is small because it could not eat due to its inability to swallow. In the normal-sized worm at right, the gene is illuminated by green flourescent protein. The head of the worm is at bottom right, with its pharynx -- or throat -- glowing green. In the middle part of the worm, the gonadal sheath -- responsible for egg-laying -- also glows green. The worm's intestines are not visible in this photo, although they too normally would be illuminated by the green protein.
Credit: Ken Norman, University of Utah
University of Utah biologists found a gene that controls rhythmic events in a worm's life: swallowing food, laying eggs and pooping.
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University of Utah. "Rhythm Gene Discovered: The Scoop On When Worms Poop, Ovulate And Swallow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051007094136.htm>.
University of Utah. (2005, October 9). Rhythm Gene Discovered: The Scoop On When Worms Poop, Ovulate And Swallow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051007094136.htm
University of Utah. "Rhythm Gene Discovered: The Scoop On When Worms Poop, Ovulate And Swallow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051007094136.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).