An interactive virtual worm

Would you like to browse a virtual 3D interactive atlas of the worm?  Check out the ‘virtual worm’ at the Virtual Worm Project, a computer generated 3D model of the adult hermaphrodite of Caenorhabditis elegans at cellular resolution. Browse the model interactively in the 3D graphics program, Blender, or through any WebGL-enabled web browser, via the Open Worm Browser. See this page for a list of supporting browsers.  The Virtual Worm site includes several ~5 minute video tutorials explaining how to use and view the model in Blender.

Currently, WormBase is using this model to generate expression pattern images based on curated expression pattern objects in the database.  The Virtual Worm image can be viewed by opening the expression widget on the WormBase gene page. If the gene has post-embryonic spatial expression information, a Virtual Worm image is depicted of the cells and tissues in which it is expressed.  In the future we hope to embed the browsable Virtual Worm model directly into the WormBase website, with added anatomy meta-data, as well as hyperlinks to relevant anatomy pages. We also plan on developing 3D models of embryonic and larval stages as well as the adult male. For any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Chris Grove at

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