Daily Mail article on 41,000-year-old worms includes Gill’s tweets

Tweets by Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist and climate scientist at the University of Maine, were included in the Daily Mail article, “Scientists awaken 41,000-year-old worms from Siberian permafrost (or did they?): Debate rages over ‘unheard of’ findings described in recent study.” A team of microbiologists announced last year that they had resurrected nematodes that had been locked in Siberian permafrost for, in one case, roughly 41,000 years, according to the article. Scientists not involved with the research say the nematode findings come as a “huge surprise,” and some warn they should be taken with a grain of salt, the article states. One of the most important things to consider, according to Gill, is just how common nematodes are. “Nematodes are roundworms — unlike flatworms, they have a tubular digestive system,” she explained on Twitter. “They’re a diverse group of tiny animals that are found in just about every ecosystem, including salt water, fresh water and soils. Many species are parasites (including to plants and people). The ubiquity of nematodes is one of the reasons why we should be super skeptical of this study from the start.” According to Gill, it’s possible the living worms observed in the 2018 study weren’t actually as old as they seemed, and were simply more recent creatures that got swept up in a batch of older soil. Futurism also cited Gill’s tweets in the article, “That story about the ancient frozen worms might be bologna.”