AScribe reports on results from one of the first experiments making use of automated methods of sorting and analysing large numbers of nematode worms. "University of Colorado at Boulder scientists have used a fluorescent marker to predict the individual life spans of identical worms that were genetically engineered to illuminate stress levels, implying living organisms have 'hidden physiological states' that dictate their ability to deal with the rigors of life. ... We have shown it's possible to predict the life span in an organism on the first day of adult life based on how it responds to stress. ... Carried out using about 100,000 popular laboratory nematodes known as C. elegans, the study indicated the brightness level triggered by the reporter protein could predict up to a four-fold variation in the life expectancy of a worm."