The film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” may be one you’ve seen.
Button had an unusual illness that caused him to mature more slowly. Turritopsis dohrnii, a species of jellyfish, appears to have attained immortality in a related setting.
A group of scientists from Spain has been successful in analyzing the DNA of a jellyfish renowned for its ability to survive after dying.
On Monday, the report was released in PNAS.
Even after sexual reproduction, the tiny sea organism known as the immortal jellyfish has the ability to turn back time and regenerate into a collection of young cells.
the ‘immortal’ jellyfish being specialized again
The red jellyfish, Turritopsis rubra, which cannot readily reverse its aging process, was found to be closely linked to the immortal jelly, according to a study by Maria Pascual-Torner and her colleagues at Spain’s University of Oviedo.
Researchers studied the two medusas and found that the immortal jellyfish possessed mutations that allowed it to control cell division and prevent the telomeres, which act as chromosomal caps, from shortening. Additionally, it possessed twice as many genes related to DNA repair and protection.
The immortal jellyfish activated extra genes that allowed the reverted cells to “re-specialize” as the colony once more split up into swimming individuals, in addition to shutting developmental genes to revert to their earlier forms.
More specifically, when medusae, or adult jellyfish, sense a threat from changing environmental conditions, they turn back the clock on their genetic clock and revert to being larvae. They are nothing more than a thin coating of cells and tissue that floats through the water looking for a rock or blade of seagrass to cling to.
Are people on the verge of immortality?
According to The Wall Street Journal, the scientists expressed hope that their genome mapping would lead to understandings of human aging and measures to increase life expectancy.
She said, “We are not jellyfish, so it’s a folly to imagine we’ll have immortality like this jellyfish. But it’s likely that some aspect of the evolutionary strategy employed by the immortal jellyfish can be used to comprehend the diseases of aging, according to Pascual-Torner.
Dr. Jan Karlseder, a molecular biologist and the head of the Salk Institute’s Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research, said the study had a significant message about prolonging an organism’s health span, or healthy years.
The fact that there are multiple molecular pathways is what I find most intriguing.
It combines a number of them, he said.
“We cannot limit our search for an extension of healthspan to one avenue. That won’t be adequate. We must examine many of them to see how they work together, he continued.