Health

Published on November 25th, 2015 | by THC

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The Secret to Immortality

For time immemorial, man has searched for the elixir to life everlasting – immortality.  With the millions of species that have inhabited Earth, it is no surprise that this answer could possibly be found in the Animal Kingdom.

The turritopsis dohrnii, also known as “The Immortal Jellyfish,” was first discovered in the late 19th Century in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea.  Only millimeters in size, these little warriors have the extraordinary ability to revert back into the polyp state – the state of infancy in the life cycle of a jellyfish – when facing an imminent threat to their life.  This incredible survival skill allows them to revert from the adult (medusa) state back to the polyp state.

In doing so, the jellyfish returns to the sea floor, releasing a new polyp colony with an identical DNA-set.  According to AMNH.org, “the cellular mechanism behind it—a rare process known as transdifferentiation—is of particular interest to scientists for its potential applications in medicine.

By undergoing transdifferentiation, an adult cell, one that is specialized for a particular tissue, can become an entirely different type of specialized cell. It’s an efficient way of cell recycling and an important area of study in stem cell research that could help scientists replace cells that have been damaged by disease.”

This fascinating survival skill may in fact hold the key to immortality.  Imagine when facing your death, having the ability to reverse the aging process or even spawn a clone of yourself back in the infant state.  Some say this is playing God – possibly man’s new beginning or perhaps their downfall.

You decide.

References

http://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blogs/on-exhibit-posts/the-immortal-jellyfish

http://animals.about.com/od/cnidarians/a/lifecyclejellyf.htm

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