Could worms predict our lifespan?

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BEIJING, CHINA – Hello science fans, it looks like scientists are trying to put fortune tellers out of a job.

A study in the journal Nature, by scientists at the National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, China reports, scientists have found a way to predict lifespan in worms. It’s hard to believe but experts believe this breakthrough could one day be used to predict how long you and I live.

To get to this “life-long” conclusion, researchers experimented with the mitochondria in nematode worms – which have a 21 day lifespan. Mitochondria are the parts of a cell that generate energy. The worms that experienced high mitochondrion flashes “curled up and died” before day 21. The worms with fewer flashes, lived longer.

While this controversial experiment appeals to our nerdy side, it’s hard to equate to humans as none of the worms in the experiments ate fast food, smoked or drove cars.