Sunday, May 06, 2007

Nematodes we love...

Caenorhabditis elegans, seen above, is a free-living roundworm, about 1 mm in length, which lives in temperate soil. There is nothing lowly about it.

C. Elegans is perhaps the worlds most famous worm, or at least the worm to whom you owe a debt of gratitude, having been the focus of two of the last five Nobel Prizes in medicine. Because of all this attention, it has become the first multicellular organism to have its genome completely sequenced. C. elegans also made news when it was discovered that specimens had survived the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February 2003.

C. Elegans - tough, noble, glamorous.

And now some worm poetry (read in the voice of Garrison Keillor):

The worm
artist out of soil,
by passage of himself
constructing castles
of metaphor!

- Denise Levertov

"Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit,
to become delightful happiness must be tainted with poison."

- Georges Bataille


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