THIS MAY BE HUGE.
Turritopsis dohrnii, sometimes known as the eternal jellyfish, is a jellyfish smaller than a human fingernail that may hold the key to immortality. For the past several decades, scientists have been working to discover its secrets.
The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) released fresh findings on Monday from Spanish academics at the Universidad de Oviedo that may assist solve that puzzle. To cut to the chase, Turritopsis rubra, a similar but mortal cousin of the immortal jellyfish, appears to contain twice as many copies of the genes linked to repair and protection as the immortal jellyfish.
While other living things experience the effects of aging, the hydrozoan Turritopsis dohrnii is the only species capable of continually rejuvenating following sexual reproduction, becoming physiologically immortal, according to the paper’s authors. The genes involved in replication, DNA repair, telomere maintenance, redox environment, stem cell population, and intercellular communication have undergone variation and expansion identification.
Telomeres and DNA repair are extremely significant to the organism. When conditions are difficult or the jelly is famished, it reabsorbs its own tentacles and sinks to the seabed, where it transforms back into a baby polyp and spouts forth more jellyfish that will ultimately develop into medusae.
The jelly’s telomeres guard the ends of chromosomal strands as it reproduces, functioning as little DNA hard helmets. Telomeres typically shorten and become “used up” during this process, but not in Turritopsis dohrnii.
Although it’s simple to be envious of the eternal jellyfish, it’s also necessary to exercise caution when making wishes. On a semantic and philosophical level, it is still unclear how Turritopsis dohrnii modifies its cells so quickly or if the ensuing medusae are the same creature.
The ability to replace brain cells, for example, may lead to novel therapies for illnesses that humans haven’t yet been able to cure, like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, according to one of the greatest explanation films on this unique jelly on the internet.
According to a statement from the study’s author, a professor at the Universidad de Oviedo, the group’s goal is to learn how to extend human life.
Carlos López-Otn stated, “From this understanding we expect to develop better solutions to the numerous aging-related disorders that plague us today.