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A model organism is a non-human species that is extensively studied to understand particular biological phenomena. The expectation is that discoveries made in the model will provide insight into the workings of other organisms. Some people think of model organism research as an approach particularly appropriate for fields aiming to help humans (molecular biology, neuroscience). However, model organisms are also used in other fields of biology such as ecology or behavior, where scientists can learn a great deal from easily studied species and it is not as practical to study all species.
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This description, as with many of the annotations below, is modified or copied from the Wikipedia article on Model Organisms: Model organism. (2011, August 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:27, August 21, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Model_organism&oldid=445907153
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