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‘Immortal’ jellyfish swarming across the world

An ‘immortal’ jellyfish is swarming through the world’s oceans, according to scientists. The Turritopsis Nutricula is able to revert back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.

Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die. Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion.” The jellyfish are originally from the Caribbean but have spread all over the world.

Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self. It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation. Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.

While most members of the jellyfish family usually die after propagating, the Turritopsis nutricula has developed the unique ability to return to a polyp state. Having stumbled upon the font of eternal youth, this tiny creature which is just 5mm long is the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists to see exactly how it manages to literally reverse its aging process.


Source Daily Telegraph 30th January 2009

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5 Responses to “‘Immortal’ jellyfish swarming across the world”

  1. Josh Paul says:

    Interesting. I wonder how the world would handle humans living forever.
    Surely there would need to be laws in place to prevent procreation. I
    would love a few extra years added onto my life, but I think forever
    would be a little too long for me.

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  2. Annamarie Muirhead says:

    comment to the above response,
    if one believes in reincarnation it would be just the same.
    You start at the beginning every time, of the “body-stage.
    Amazing story thou, just as well they are tiny and hopefully get swallowed by lots of other sea creatures and digested.

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  3. Patrick says:

    Thanks for bringing forth this very interesting story but does this imply that we need to become a baby again. I wonder if the memories will prevail or everything be brought back to the beginning through the process.. And learning again to say the word “Mama”… “Papa”. Think we still have a lot to learn and to understand, about our present condition of life. Regulated by the gentle swing of the pendulum of time from birth to death!!!

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  4. William says:

    This one is another post only eairlier of the same critter. It is a hydroid.

    http://www.zmescience.com/meet-the-worlds-only-immortal-animal

    Also for interest sake look up endospore for something else that is very log lived.

    William

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  5. timoh says:

    we are all immortal,we dont know how,the song is written for someone to sing

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