Editorial: The Return of The Worm Breeder’s Gazette

Those of us who have worked on C. elegans for many years fondly remember The Worm Breeder’s Gazette (the C. elegans newsletter) and probably still have all the old copies on our shelves. The Gazette was how we let each other know what we were doing, share new techniques, and, more generally, enthuse about this best of all model organisms. On a personal note, the Gazette was where I first announced our results with GFP. For much of its existence virtually everyone contributed to the Gazette. Thus, many of us were sad when the Gazette stopped being published in 2003. I am happy to report that the Gazette did not die; it just took a vacation. Now under the sponsorship of WormBook, the Gazette is back as an online journal that will be published every six months.

The Gazette was started by Bob Edgar at the University of California at Santa Cruz in December, 1975. One of Bob’s goals for the Gazette was that it would unite researchers working on C. elegans. With the Gazette he started the tradition of sharing data that has, for many of us, most characterized our group. As he wrote in his forward to the first issue: “I hope it. . .proves useful to you and stimulates informal interchange of ideas and information.” By 1983, the Gazette moved to the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center at the University of Minnesota, where it was assembled by Bob Herman and Theresa Stiernagle. Later Leon Avery began a web site, so that people could have access to all the Gazette articles online. Another pivotal person in Gazette history is Greg Nelson, who drew many of the covers and (fortunately for us) has agreed to continue providing artwork for the new edition.

The idea to revive the Gazette began at a Janelia Farm meeting on C. elegans neurobiology in March of this year. When asked what would best aid their research, many people said that they wanted a way to keep abreast of new techniques. A rejuvenated Gazette seemed to be a good solution. We announced the return of the Gazette at the Los Angeles Worm Meeting in June, and now have our first issue. Not surprisingly, putting together a newletter, is not an easy job, and if it were not for Jane Mendel, Daniel (Qinghua) Wang, and Todd Harris (the ones who did all the work), the new Gazette would not have been possible.

Because the Gazette is now an online journal, we can do more than was done with the hardcopy version. For example, contributors can include color figures, and links can be provided for additional information in WormBase or other web sites. Readers can now also leave comments. We envision that the Gazette will continue to be a place where C. elegans researchers and researchers studying other nematodes alert their colleague about interesting results, new technique, and observations that can make their research better. It is a pleasure to say that the Gazette is back. Please enjoy it and give us your feedback and suggestions.

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