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October 27, 2008

Comments

Andrew

Not to be pedantic, but although C. elegans is a worm that lives in soil, it's not the earthworm that most people think of (those gross pink things that crawl out of the ground when it rains - those are annelids) but rather a nematode.

What makes Palin's comment even worse is that apparently this fruit fly research wasn't even basic research on Drosophila (which is technically a vinegar fly) but on olive fruit flies, a major agricultural pest, and the reason it was being done in France because these flies have been a major pest more in Mediterranean countries, only recently becoming a problem in California. If this is how she feels about applied research, imagine how she feels about Drosophila research.

Abiola

You are of course correct wrt C. elegans. To be honest, I was of two minds about calling it an "earthworm", but simply couldn't think of a more appropriate everyday term to use, thus my decision to participate in the dumbing down of science. I'd like to say I'll err on the side of accuracy next time, but the problem is that those most likely to appreciate the effort are precisely the ones least in need of being informed by intermediaries like myself.

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