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The jewel-like tones in this graphic reveal the loaded interior lifetime of an earthworm — and not just metaphorically speaking. Worms participate in host to a legion of symbiotic microbes and parasites, which depart driving unique molecular fingerprints. This past July, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Germany mixed two diverse imaging procedures to glimpse at how those people molecular indicators are dispersed in the course of a worm’s body. The vibrant hues in the leading half of this cross-section stand for diverse metabolites — modest molecules that regulate functions such as immune responses — in the worm’s tissue, although the bottom exhibits the underlying tissue framework. With each other, these imaging tactics reveal the interplay in between the worm and its parasites on a molecular amount, and could shed light-weight on symbiotic interactions inside of other modest invertebrates, such as deep-sea mussels.