Getting started

Overview of the project, its contents, and how to get started.

OpenWorm aims to build the first comprehensive computational model of the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a microscopic roundworm. With only a thousand cells, it solves basic problems such as feeding, mate-finding and predator avoidance. Despite being extremely well studied in biology, this organism still eludes a deep, principled understanding of its biology.

A brief introduction to C. elegans

We are using a bottom-up approach, aimed at observing the worm behaviour emerge from a simulation of data derived from scientific experiments carried out over the past decade. To do so we are incorporating the data available in the scientific community into software models. We are engineering Geppetto and Sibernetic, open-source simulation platforms, to be able to run these different models in concert. We are also forging new collaborations with universities and research institutes to collect data that fill in the gaps.

This video shows recent progress from the project to build the simulated body of the worm.

All the code we produce in the OpenWorm project is Open Source and available on GitHub. This makes it easy for everyone to look at and play with.

Detailed documentation for each sub-project is available from the Projects page.

The OpenWorm Core team meets every two weeks on public Google hangouts. The best way to get started is to sit down and have a look!

While most meetings go into specifics of the project they do a good job at expressing the true spirit of OpenWorm: openness, transparency and of course, science!

Nothing beats the chance to ask a question for yourself. No matter what your background is, or how naive you think your question is, feel free to reach out!

OK, you like the project and you are interested in it. How about connecting with us to receive updates as we make progress? There are different ways you can stay connected, and whether you prefer to receive casual updates or you want "drink from the firehose", we can help connect you.

For more information about staying in sync, visit the Contacts page.

It might be just a drop in the ocean but it's still going to help! We are constantly looking for collaborators and people that share our vision.

If you want to contribute to the project in any way you should visit the Get Involved page. We have put together some common profiles but if yours doesn't fit in any of them please drop us a line anyway, we'd love to hear from you!