How low can worms go?

Gaetan Borgonie, University Ghent, Belgium

Bacteria-eating worms dwell in treasure caves deep below the earth’s surface, where only single-celled organisms were thought to exist. Although it may sound like the premise of a sci-fi masterpiece, this scenario is the major finding of a recent report in Nature. The report describes the discovery of four species of nematodes, or roundworms, in the depths of South African gold mines, where conditions could charitably be called inhospitable.

Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 198 (2011).
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