Class Year

2009, 2008, 2009


Prenatal exposure to ethanol results in a wide range of birth defects in humans classified as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). As a result, the effect of ethanol on fetal development has been highly studied in many vertebrate and mammalian models. Recently, Caenorhabditis elegans has been introduced as an ideal model organism for studying the effects of ethanol on development. In this experiment, we exposed C. elegans to three different concentrations of ethanol. We hypothesized that increasing ethanol concentrations would result in fewer offspring that were smaller in size. Our results were inconclusive in the quantity of offspring produced, but we found that worms developing in the presence of ethanol were significantly smaller than those that were not. From these observations, we concluded that exposure to ethanol during development inhibited growth. Future experiments include developing a more precise experimental procedure and increasing the concentrations of ethanol used.


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