FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Wed Apr 19 12:44:00 EDT 2017

Earth’s little garbage people? (video)

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2017 —  If you’re enjoying some tasty food today that has at least one ingredient that was farmed somewhere, you probably owe a little thanks to earthworms. How is it that these detritivores – literally dirt eaters – turn what humans find inedible into beloved compost? After the biology and physics of swallowing and “chewing”, like us it’s all chemistry for digestion. But earthworms have an extra enzyme that allows them to munch through cellulose, the ultimate fiber that makes tree bark a non-starter in human diets. Yet all this powerful chemistry means not everyone sees earthworms as the greatest creature to crawl – find out all the dirt in the latest Reactions video here: https://youtu.be/2Pa1FwmKZcQ.

Youtube ID: 2Pa1FwmKZcQ

Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios. Subscribe to our weekly series at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions and follow us on Twitter @ACSReactions.

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Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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