Home Genome Synteny Blast / Blat WormMart Markers Genetic Maps Submit Searches Site Map
WormBase Banner
Wormbase logo   Welcome to the Virtual Worm Project    Caltech logo


Browse Images of Cells & Tissues

Download Virtual Worm .blend File

Download Blender 2.49b

Instructional Videos

Open Worm WebGL Browser


You Tube Channel

Worm Atlas

Mind of the Worm

Worm Image

Worm Base


SciViz Unit, Italy


OpenWorm Project
Welcome to the Virtual Worm Project, an effort to recreate the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in virtual form using the "free open source 3D content creation suite," Blender. The current goal is to create a cell-by-cell reconstruction of the adult hermaphrodite “worm” so as to generate a virtual, 3-dimensional, interactive atlas of the anatomy of C. elegans. This website is intended to display rendered images from the model for those generally interested in learning more about the anatomy of C. elegans. We will have an interactive version of the model up and running for general use in the near future.

The 3D models shown here were generated based on the beautiful and insightful depictions of C. elegans anatomy portrayed by Worm Atlas, Mind of the Worm, and images provided by the Worm Image repository.

Check out the Web-browser WebGL Virtual Worm Browser, made possible by the guys at the Open Worm Project and the Google Labs Body Browser team. Here are several screenshots:

Open Worm WebGL Browser image #1

Open Worm WebGL Browser image #2

Open Worm WebGL Browser image #3

Open Worm WebGL Browser image #4

Here are some example animations using the Virtual Worm:

1) A simple fly-over animation of the nervous system of C. elegans:

2) This fly-over animation shows the position and morphology of the ALA neuron of C. elegans. The ALA cell body lies in the head of the worm in the dorsal ganglion and has two lateral projections that run (essentially) alongside the seam cells, seen in orange.

Here are some static images of the Virtual Worm depicting various tissues:


This is a simple side-view of the worm, with the hypodermis (skin of the worm) made transparent for ease of viewing internal organs. Of course we can view individual cell types or organs as well:
Alimentary System:

Alimentary System

Nervous System:


Reproductive System:


Body Wall Muscles: