Characterizing chromosome missegregation in spe-26 mutant Caenorhabditis elegans

Meiosis is a type of specialized cell division, in which sperm and egg cells are formed. It is important to study and understand meiosis because when it goes wrong, it can result in infertility and other problems with sex cells. A useful way to study meiosis is in Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1-millimeter long nematode worm with transparent skin, because sex cell division is easy to analyze with microscopy. In my project, I will be visualizing defects in meiotic chromosome segregation in mutant C. elegans worms, which has a broader application to human sperm development. Given that infertility affects up to ten-percent of couples worldwide, largely due to problems with male sperm formation, studying meiosis in a model organism is important for understanding why and how infertility occurs in humans.

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