back to article British garbage worms survive in space without human help

A worm family that originated in a rubbish dump in Bristol has successfully returned from a space mission, proving for the first time that worms can survive untended in space. Studying the effect of space travel on worms has big implications for understanding how humans can survive in space – if and when we have to flee our …


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  1. AustinBrock


    That last line did make me laugh out loud Anna, thanks :).

  2. Tom 38

    I, for one, welcome our new nematode overlords

    As title.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The worms are turning

    Wot, the worms wrote a paper for the Royal Society? Looks as if they're well on the way to being masters of the universe.

  4. jake Silver badge

    So, basically ...

    ... if you feed, water and shelter primitive hermaphrodites, they will reproduce without further help? Gee, whodathunkit ... Outstanding bit of research, that.

    1. Thomas 18

      Missing the point

      The test is to look at long term biological effects of:

      1. zero gravity

      2. cosmic radiation (unprotected by earths atmosphere which filters this stuff)

      Seems like cells stick around in a human a lot longer than a worm though so doubt the radiation could cause cancers etc like it might long term in an astronaut.

  5. David 66

    Fire off our landfill rubbish to MArs with these worms and let them create a biosphere. Something like that. Job done.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The worms go in and the worms come out...

    That'll explain Arrakis, then...

  7. bharq

    unmanned mission

    Is it a wormed mission, then?

  8. thomas k.

    Mars ...

    Probably just a way-stop on the way to Tau Ceti 5.

  9. Chris Glen-smith


    So not actually in space, just on board a space station. I was expecting some astonishing story of worms crawling about the outside of the space station :-(

    Reg. please try not to overhype your stories in the title.

    1. adnim


      see title

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's disgracefull - it's cruelty to worms! After all it's not like we are short of bottom feeders we can send instead like bankers, politicians and patent lawyers.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've heard this story before

    We colonize another planet with worms, they grow to huge size, start swallowing up spice harvesting tractors and stupid people walking around in the desert. The locals start worshipping the worms as a god.

    Where is the Frank Herbert icon at??

  12. atomic jam

    Worms... in spaaaaaace!!!

    They could be trained to repair satelites, or a certain Mars probe (Grunt).

    They could also help to clear away the amount of junk thats floating around upthere.

    No one has mentioned this so: May I be the first to welcome our new space fairing wriggling overlords.

  13. Keep Refrigerated

    Space Worms?

    There's an awful lot of moisture in here.

  14. mhenriday

    I hadn't even noticed that

    David William Donald Cameron, George Gideon Oliver Osborne, William Jefferson Hague, et al had been away ! Guess I'll have to change my reading glasses....


  15. Slabfondler

    Without Human Help?

    Did the little buggers squirm onto the shuttle and find a nice cozy corner full of food to live in all by themselves?

    Mine is the one with the castings in the pocket.

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