C. elegans

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Caenorhabditis elegans : genome sequenced

Ground-breaking news about the nematode C. elegans—an even simpler beast than they had thought, with a genetic code nineteen percent identical to yeast.

And now I hear the sequencing machines associate me with him—with vermin—by festooning us in matching strands of genes: A common heritage I can’t deny,

but a worm—he’s less than dirt, the über-low doormat to the world, bred to submit and never turn (except earth-clods), and so unprepossessing. Except I’ve also read

how it’s supposedly the meek who hit the jackpot—the big legacy—and earn what great H. sapiens inherited: the earth that elegans was first to turn.