from the drudge report ... proof positive that it was AFAB liberals
and none other is found in the part of the report that describes the
survivors as primative organisms that appear in two sexes, males and
hermaphodites. the wherabouts of the goth quotient is unknown at
By MIKE SCHNEIDER
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 30, 2003; 9:32 PM
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Hundreds of worms from a science experiment
aboard the space shuttle Columbia have been found alive in the
wreckage, NASA said Wednesday.
The worms, known as C. elegans, were found in debris in Texas several
weeks ago. Technicians sorting through the debris at Kennedy Space
Center in Florida didn't open the containers of worms and dead moss
cells until this week.
All seven astronauts were killed when the shuttle disintegrated over
Texas on Feb. 1. Columbia contained almost 60 scientific
"To my knowledge, these are the only live experiments that have been
located and identified," said Bruce Buckingham, a NASA spokesman at
the Kennedy Space Center.
The worms and moss were in the same nine-pound locker located in the
mid-deck of the space shuttle. The worms were placed in six canisters,
each holding eight petri dishes.
The worms, which are about the size of the tip of a pencil, were part
of an experiment testing a new synthetic nutrient solution. The worms,
which have a life cycle of between seven and 10 days, were four or
five generations removed from the original worms placed on Columbia in
The C. elegans are primitive organisms that share many biological
characteristics of humans. In 1999, C. elegans became the first
multicellular organism to have the sequencing of its genome completed.
C. elegans have two sexes: males and hermaphrodites, which are females
that produce sperm. A hermaphrodite worm can self-fertilize for the
first 300 or so eggs but later usually prefers to accept sperm from
males to produce a larger number of offspring.
The experiment was put together by researchers at the NASA Ames
Research Center in California.
The moss, known as Ceratodon, was used to study how gravity affects
cell organization. During Columbia's flight, shuttle commander Rick
Husband sprayed the moss with a chemical that destroyed protein fiber.
He also sprayed the moss with formaldehyde to preserve it. Seven of
the eight aluminum canisters holding the moss were recovered.
The experiment was put together by an Ames Research Center researcher
and Dr. Fred Sack at Ohio State University.
"The cells were surprisingly well-preserved, but we're analyzing how
useful it's going to be," Sack said.
NASA officials said they don't know if the worms will still have any
scientific value since they were supposed to have been examined and
unloaded from Columbia within hours of landing
"It's pretty astonishing to get the possibility of data after all that
has happened," Sack said. "We never expected it. We expected a molten