David Scholnick, a biologist from Pacific University, recently invented a shrimp treadmill, which allows researchers to measure the activity of an exercising shrimp for a set period of time at fixed speed and oxygen levels. Scholnick has been using the treadmill to determine the disparity between the performance of healthy and sick shrimp, as a means of examining how disease impacts shrimps' performance.
MSNBC's Sara Goudarzi reports:
Humans fighting an infection typically sleep more and are not at top physical performance. "The situation is much more critical for a sick marine crustacean, such as a shrimp, where a decrease in performance may mean the difference between life and death," said David Scholnick.
Shrimp dealing with an infection would be less active and might be limited in their ability to migrate, find food, and avoid being eaten, Scholnick said. "These studies will give us a better idea of how marine animals can perform in their native habitat when faced with increasing pathogens and immunological challenges."