Science

How Jellyfish Reverses Aging?

A study of jellyfish has revealed a fascinating fact – these bottom-dwelling creatures have an unusual mutation that helps them to reverse aging. These creatures have double copies of the genes that repair DNA, a characteristic that could shed light on human ageing. These animals start life as drifting larvae, attaching themselves to the sea floor and eventually forming sprout-like polyps. After forming, they clone themselves and return to the seafloor.

Most jellyfish lose their ability to reverse aging once they reach sexual maturity. However, one jellyfish species, T. dohrnii, has preserved this ability. Scientists have known about this ability for 15 to 20 years, says Monty Graham, director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. Scientists have even nicknamed this unique jellyfish the “immortal jellyfish”.

The phenomenon of immortality has fascinated scientists for many years. People have long believed in the rumored “fountain of youth,” and scientific experiments have been conducted to discover the secret of immortality. But no one has ever successfully harnessed this power. Until now, the only creature to achieve immortality is the ‘age-defying’ Turritopsis dohrnii. In a recent study, scientists compared the DNA of this jellyfish to that of other jellyfish to shed some light on the phenomenon. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The immortal jellyfish has more than 1,000 genes. These genes are responsible for two unique features of the animal. The first feature is that it silences two families of proteins responsible for gene expression. The second feature is its pluripotency, which is the ability of stem cells to transform into any other cell.

While most jellies don’t have a brain, they have a network of nerves that allows them to respond to their surroundings. Some jellies even have more than one brain. The Box jelly, for example, has four brains and 24 eyes. Each eye has both a cornea and retina, which allow it to see colors.

The jellyfish is also able to reverse the aging process. When stressed, it can switch back into its immature polyp stage. Then it can grow into an adult jellyfish and live forever. In fact, it is even possible for Turritopsis to revert to its polyp stage when the environmental factors require it.

The life cycle of a jellyfish begins with a fertilised egg. This embryo develops into a tube-shaped structure, called a polyp. The polyp is then attached to a surface and forms a fully-formed adult. Once a polyp grows into a mature jellyfish, it can reproduce sexually, and the whole process can continue indefinitely.

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