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Building a Digital Lifeform Through an Open Source Project

Submitted by on October 19, 2012 – 6:05 pm

Stephen Larson, panelist for our October 22nd ScienceOnline event, describes the OpenWorm project, a fascinating initiative that demonstrates the power of researchers working together online.

Can a large scale biological simulation project be run as an open source project?

With well funded efforts like DARPA’s synapse project and the Blue Brain project it seems like it would be difficult.  But that’s what the passionate group behind the OpenWorm project believe and have been making it a reality for the past year.  Some basic facts about the project:

The project has already produced a “Worm Browser” that allows anyone to see the anatomy of the organism that is being simulated.  The project has also made great progress in marshalling the facts that are known about this organism into a “connectome” that can be simulated.  Finally, the project recently published a paper that outlines its previous work and points directions to the future.

We need help!  If you are interested in helping out, whether or not you have any special expertise, please send an email to contact@openworm.org or check out the contact page on the website for more ways to connect!

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