Thursday, July 7, 2011

Immortal jellyfish: Does it really live forever?

Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish

While it is often joked that cats have nine lives, a certain species of jellyfish has been deemed “immortal” by scientists who have observed its ability to, when in crisis, revert its cells to their earliest form and grow anew.

That means that these tiny creatures, 4 mm to 5 mm long, potentially have infinite lives.

The creature, known scientifically as Turritopsis nutricula, was discovered in the Mediterranean Sea in 1883, but its unique regeneration was not known until the mid-1990s.

Muscle cells can become sperm or eggs, or nerve cells can change into muscle cells, “revealing a transformation potential unparalleled in the animal kingdom,” according to the original study of the species published in 1996.

1 comment:

Telebrands said...

What a great post on jellyfish. I wonder how many people know of their regenerative abilities?

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