Research describing a new modified luminescent worm that allows, for the first time, to measure, in real time, the metabolism of an entire living organism. The key behind this capacity relies in the fact that the luminescence is produced using the animal's available energy, which reflects its metabolism that, as such, can be extrapolated from measuring the emitted light. The new altered Caenorhabditis elegans - which is widely used to study human genes - by detecting metabolic changes in the exact moment these occur, will help to understand the cause behind these changes and contribute to understand C. elegans (and human) genes, as well as the mechanisms behind disease and health. In fact, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and different types of stress -- such as starvation and oxygen deprivation - are just some of the phenomena characterised by visible metabolic changes that can now be further investigated using this new animal model.
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