Mortality, And Blue Glowing Worms

Observing dying worms, we see
A glowing blue mortality
Beginning in the head—
It spreads, still glowing, gradually,
And with the light, eventually,
C elegans is dead.

The genes that moderate this show
Are widely shared, and so we know
That people have them too
And when it’s time to let life go
The worms that eat us, soon must glow
Thus dying leaves us blue

A nice story on NPR, on research on the process of dying. A naturally occurring fluorescence marks the biological process of death in C elegans, and studying the process is leading to a new understanding of aging and death. And in truth, the process is beautiful. (You may remember, I’ve written a bit on death and worms before.)

Oddly enough, the discussion at NPR’s story is actually thoughtful and respectful. (Mostly. It is, after all, still the internet.)


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