Worms are everywhere: in the ground, in the water, at the bottom of oceans, within the ice of Alaska, and even - sometimes - inside us.
The worm, a living tube of flesh, inspires at the most, indifference, at the worst, disgust. Yet, these animals have become lab stars.
They are the most hardworking creatures on the planet. They work day and night, ploughing, aerating, and fertilising the ground. That's why we call them soil engineers.
Worms have helped scientists solve great puzzles in genetics and disease; they've even helped map the human genome. They have given us clues to combat the parasitic diseases that afflict over a billion people worldwide. Worms can also have an astonishing quality - they can come back to life after lying dormant for years