OpenWorm is an open science project aimed at building the first digital organism, a microscopic worm called C. elegans.
The idea is to create an interactive worm based on its real biology. Living in a browser, the virtual simulated model will be accessible to anyone with a computer.
Users will be able to click on parts of the worm and interact with it in a 3D environment. It will be possible to inspect the digital animated WormSim and try to figure out what makes it tick. Each cell lights up and reveals its activity.
The project, which release is scheduled in a year, has been presented with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to create OpenWorm to increase our understanding of the human brain.
As its creator, Stephen Larson, says: “If we cannot build a computer model of a worm, the most studied organism in all of biology, we don’t stand a chance to understand something as complex as the human brain. OpenWorm gives the world front row access to the cutting edge of digital biology.”
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