Snooping on cells in worms and mini-organs
Throughout their lifetime, animals face a wide variety of biological chal-
lenges. Starting out as single cells, their first challenge is to undergo devel-
opment and become fully grown and functional adults. Remarkably, this
incredibly complex process occurs in a highly reproducible manner despite
the huge variability in environmental, genetic and molecular fluctuations
they encounter during their journey through development. However, the
challenges do not end here; once animals become adults, their tissues are
constantly subject to damage, either by external sources such as disease, or
due to intrinsic causes such as cellular aging. Thus, adult tissues are con-
stantly renewing themselves, and must do so in a tightly controlled manner
in order to maintain homeostasis. In this thesis, we explore how animals
cope with a few of such challenges with the help of two model systems, C.
elegans worms and stem cell-derived organoids.