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Data gathering is one of the main issues to be faced in wireless sensor networks and is strongly dependent on sensor energy constrains. In this paper, we propose a chain-based distributed data gathering algorithm that provides a dynamic chain reconfiguration mechanism which dramatically improves the lifetime of the network. The key advantage of the algorithm is that it performs simultaneously routing reconfiguration and data aggregation and, thus, avoids disrupting the data gathering iteration and minimizes energy consumption. We also perform simulations with the ns2 network simulator to compare this algorithm to other proposals. These simulations show the scalability of the algorithm and a linear cost energy consumption pattern.