The Only Animal That Can Reverse Aging And Live Forever – Mystery Science

There Earth’s only immortal species it is a tiny, transparent jellyfish that has fantastic regenerative power and does not die from natural causes.

Over the centuries, there have always been myths about immortality, this divine ability to live forever. However, the myths can sometimes contain a grain of truth, because there is a creature close to immortality: a small transparent jellyfish.

Jellyfish are special in many ways. To begin with, they have no brains or hearts. They have a single opening through which food goes in and waste comes out. Moreover, they are the most efficient swimmers in the oceans; they use less energy to cover a distance than any other creature in the sea.

Added to this is an immortal jellyfish, which has the ability to revert to its juvenile larval form again and again; something like a Benjamin Button from the depths.

How can this happen?

When fully grown, the immortal jellyfish is only about 4.5 mm (0.18 in) in diameter, smaller than a small fingernail. It has a bright red stomach, visible in the middle of its transparent bell, and its edges are lined with up to 90 white tentacles. However, these tiny, transparent creatures have extraordinary survival skills.

immortal jellyfish.

When an immortal jellyfish (scientific name: Turritopsis dohrnii) ages, suffers physical damage, or is in water that is too cold or too hot, the species can escape death by reverting to the polyp stage, the earliest stage of the life of the organism. To do this, it reabsorbs its tentacles and comes to rest as a mass of undifferentiated cells somewhere on the seabed.

From there, the young polyp can sprout and produce new adult forms, each smaller than your pinky fingernail when mature.

These mature shoots are genetically identical to the polypso the immortal jellyfish it can actually move back and forth between the jellyfish and polyp stage during its life cycle.

T. dohrnii rejuvenation stages: from medusa (1), regresses to cyst (4) and polyp (7). Credit: Maria Pascual Torner.

The cellular mechanism behind this, a rare process known as transdifferentiation, is of particular interest to scientists for its possible applications in medicine.

By experiencing transdifferentiation, an adult cell, specialized for a particular tissue, can become an entirely different type of specialized cell. It is an effective way to recycle cells and an important area of ​​study in stem cell research that could help scientists replace cells damaged by disease.

In 2022, researchers in Spain they studied their genome, as they tried to determine which genes are present or missing in the immortal jellyfish, compared to their relatives. It’s like that identified nearly a thousand genes linked to aging and T. dohrnii DNA repair. However, so far experts are not very clear on how this species lives so long, only on the mechanism of how they do it.

In the future, scientists will continue to study this amazing species, hoping to unlock the mysteries of the immortal jellyfish, and thus help provide clues to human aging.

References: Clarín / Reuters / American Museum of National History / Smithsonian Institute.

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