An Israeli research tool that could eventually lead to better understanding of and treatments for diabetes, obesity, genetic metabolism disorders, Alzheimer's disease and metabolic changes that occur in cancers has been developed. The model - led by researchers at Tel Aviv University with colleagues at the University at San Diego - has just been described in the prestigious journal Nature. Metabolism refers to the set of chemical reactions occurring in living organisms that allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures and respond to their environments. The new computational model describes metabolism in 10 different human tissues, including the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. The research exposes the central function in the various control functions that set down the way tissue metabolism is carried out. It was shown to successfully predict the tissue-specificity of human metabolism on a large scale, said Drs. Tomer Shlomi, Moran Cabili and Eytan Ruppin of TAU's bioengineering department and medical school, along with Californian researchers Dr. Marcus Herrgard and Bernard Palsson.