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Without exception, all of the work at iGEM in previous years has been restricted to single-celled organisms, mostly bacteria. This has naturally imposed limitations on the scope and application of iGEM projects. We decided to introduce Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode worm commonly used in developmental research, as a new chassis for future teams to use as the platform for their projects. This opens up a new tier of possibilities for projects in the future, as iGEM enters the multicellular world.

In order for C. elegans to become a feasible platform for an iGEM team, a lot of learning is necessary. WormGuide is a comprehensive educational and reference work that we have designed to allow future iGEM teams to quickly and easily learn about C. elegans, and whether a worm project is within their means. We hope that it will help people learn the background knowledge necessary for the use of this organism for work in synthetic biology, while simultaneously helping them understand what opportunities the new chassis creates.