In her Drugs and the Brain course, Ana Estevez, associate professor of biology and psychology and current holder of the Sarah Johnson '82 Professorship in the Sciences, teaches students how to grow and maintain nematode worms. Later in the semester, they use these worms to conduct experiments and study the effects of drugs on invertebrate nervous systems.
In the age of COVID-19, the remote learning model poses a special challenge to lab-based science courses like Estevez’s. Without her careful guidance, the proper equipment, or the hands-on experience, cultivating nematodes for experimentation from home is out of the question. The solution? Replace real nematodes with hypothetical ones.