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Dany's RaaD Roundup

The Immortal Jellyfish – Turritopsis nutricula

I have heard TED talks about the science of humans potentially living for 1000 years (video below) from Aubrey de Grey (subscribe to TED talks here), but this is the first story I have seen where we have actually found a species on Earth that we think has managed to do what our science has been striving for, everlasting life. The Turritopsis nutricula seems to start as a sexually immature polyp form then transdifferentiates into a sexually mature form. For most creatures, that is just about the end of their major transformations until death, but the Turritopsis nutricula transdifferentiates again, this time back into its immature form again, it will then just repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

Sadly, as of now, us humans are not very good at this quite yet, transdifferentiation is a specific type of metaplasia and as all you medical folks know, when human cells go into metaplasia, that’s not always a good sign. Just think about Barrett’s esophagus metaplasia, which has a high risk of becoming cancerous.

Here is the original research article the story came from.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing this link and thanks to 14bikeco’s Blog for the images!



Vodpod videos no longer available.

Turritopsis nutricula

April 15, 2010 3:23 pm - Posted by | clips, lectures, medicine, nature, photography, podcasts, science

1 Comment »

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Kept my interest and was easy to understand. Good Job!

    Comment by Ronald Hanson | May 2, 2010 1:25 am

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