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"Font of Youth" Found-Immortal Jellyfish Invading the Worlds Oceans

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posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:29 PM
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Well the long search for the process by which Immortality in biological entities can exist, seems to have been found in a Jellyfish that never dies.




The Turritopsis Nutricula is able to revert back to a juvenile form once it mates after becoming sexually mature.

Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die.

Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.


However this Native to the Caribbean species is now an alien invader to the rest of the worlds oceans, and is spreading fast, along with research into its unique regenerative properties.



Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion."


This may be an issue to the other small and massively important to the entire eco-system life forms such as Algae and Plankton, which underpins most Oxygen production on the earth and is the foundation for the worlds entire food chains.

If this immortal jellyfish competes for and takes over from the rich varieties of other life in the ocean at this size or smaller, a real collapse of the food chains is likely IMHO.



Having stumbled upon the font of eternal youth, this tiny creature which is just 5mm long is the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists to see exactly how it manages to literally reverse its aging process.


Telegraph Uk


And Further in National Geographic:



The jellyfish's cells are often completely transformed in the process. Muscle cells can become nerve cells or even sperm or eggs.

National Geographic

So even though this looks very promising for Medical research and such like, if humans can live forever eventually due to this little Jellyfish, very good,

But what is the use if it crowds out the rest of the food chain, and endangers the entire ecosystem?


Kind Regards,

Elf.
Wiki on It

[edit on 1-2-2009 by MischeviousElf]




posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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very interesting post (as always, Elf..)


But given the fact everyting in natures levels out and finds a balance i suspect we will soon see an other species flourishing on this newly found foodgroup!! (or are jelleyfish non-edible???)

Peace...

ps: star and flag...

[edit on 1/2/2009 by operation mindcrime]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by operation mindcrime
 


I was wondering if it was edible or has stingers as such, it is small so it may seriously put of a lot of fish under food threat.

For example in the coral reefs many of the sea based plants there with tentacle like extentions are stinging or poisonous, and only certain species of fish have evolved to live within this Field of swaying protection as such.

Other fish cant go near it.

So as this is originally from the Caribbean, with very warm water's if it makes it to dominate colder water areas it may cause a real threat as its natural predators wont be around.

I also thought could humans eat it? if it does crowd out the food chain, well it would be all that's left, though unlike other small living marine fauna and flora as such It does not produce oxgygen.

It is a predator as such eating the smaller plankton and such like, so unless a worldwide predator is around it will dominate the food chain below it.

A real double edged sword it appears this little critter!

Live for thousands of years but have no oxygen and live on stingy dried pills that are salty to lol.

Elf.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf

So even though this look s very promising for Medical research and such like, if humans can live forever eventually due to this little Jellyfish, what is the use if it crowds out the rest of the food chain, and endangers the entire ecosystem?


Well because, for starters, we would still have to eat! Plus, I think a world with a collapsed ecosystem might be a really ugly, barren place, even if we were there to keep it company



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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Well if it cant die naturally, we will just have to find a way to kill it! Isnt that the human way?



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime

But given the fact everyting in natures levels out and finds a balance i suspect we will soon see an other species flourishing on this newly found foodgroup!! (or are jelleyfish non-edible???)



Good point. And even if they are inedible, all some clever marketer would have to do is make "immortal jellyfish" face cream that promised eternal youth and you would have a sharp decline in the species in no time. Use the existing science to leap to unsupported conclusions and voila, jobs are created, wealth generated, and jellyfish population brought under control.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by PokeyJoe
Well if it cant die naturally, we will just have to find a way to kill it! Isnt that the human way?


Unfortunately so it is.

But with this little critter it would mean killing all of them outside their natural habitat, because as they are a sexual, one becomes 2 they never die and become ad infinitum....

Buy Jellyfish O Kill shares guys this could be the biggest pest problem the world has ever seen.

Seriously though I am thinking about its ability to change cells into nerve ones or other parts as explained.

Grow new brain tissue, nerves, muscle, skin for burns, some genetic messing about with human DNA and voila.

Even make and clone Immortal Humans?

The potential for a host of diseases and trauma's is immense, and may lead to a new type of medical science that even out does the potentials of stem cell research.

It certainly does not have the ethical concerns etc.

Kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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If these jellyfish are immortal than they must have been around a long time. My question is, why wouldnt this "silent invasion" and intusion to other ecosystems have happened long ago, as in thousands of years ago?

If they were really a threat to our food chain, wouldn't they already have enough time to do their bidding? They can't be that great of threat if these immortal creatures haven't hurt us already IMHO.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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Nature has a way of balancing itself out. Surely there are predators that can eat this ‘immortal’ spaghetti monster of a jellyfish. With respect to immortality, I see no reason why people cannot grow back lost limbs and such. But as far as reproducing asexually like jellyfish, I don't think human should be designed to clone itself: It's a creepy factor.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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I think that's called "evolution", new species have to start somewere and sometime. So i guess these little guys haven't been around long enough to have populated all the worlds oceans, but same can be said for humans thousands of years ago......

anybody?? How old is this species of jellyfish??



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime


anybody?? How old is this species of jellyfish??


Doesn't say in the wiki or on any initial google searches.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Portugoal
If these jellyfish are immortal than they must have been around a long time. My question is, why wouldnt this "silent invasion" and intusion to other ecosystems have happened long ago, as in thousands of years ago?


Good Question it is something I considered but the lead scientists, think like many such problems in the past, for example Japanese knot weed in the UK or rabbits into Australia, Black rats into Europe Millenia ago its down to them carrying a lift with man:



Miglietta suspects the jellyfish are hitching rides inside long-distance cargo ships. The creatures are likely traveling in the ship's ballast water—water sucked into and pumped out of ships to provide stability. Meanwhile, polyps could be attaching to the hulls.



also they have not been noticed as small till now:



"One of the most interesting things about the study is the fact that this widespread invasion was previously unnoticed," said biologist John Darling of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


And further what is very interesting is its ability to do this when under extreme threat or in danger, that is the response that makes it youthfull again! the ultimate defence mechanism Known in biology:



But when starvation, physical damage, or other crises arise, "instead of sure death, [Turritopsis] transforms all of its existing cells into a younger state," said study author Maria Pia Miglietta, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University.


This is like Alien lol

Anyhow the cancer like properties of the behaviour is quite worrying on one hand, can we control it, but on the other hand may enable us to fight this killer of 1/3 of Mankind by studying this process further.

National Geographic

kind Regards,

Elf



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 02:45 PM
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Looking up on the subject this could actually be very good news for the sea turtles of the world!!


Jellyfish don't have many enemies, but there are some fish and snails that nibble on their tentacles because they are immune to their stinging cells. And some sea creatures like turtles will eat them.

Many animals eat jellyfish, including sea turtles and the sun fish.


Turtle-power.....



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime
Looking up on the subject this could actually be very good news for the sea turtles of the world!!


Jellyfish don't have many enemies, but there are some fish and snails that nibble on their tentacles because they are immune to their stinging cells.


This is what worries me about areas that these predators dont exist, indcrime, I never knew Turtles ate them, thanks!



Turtle-power.....


Call in the Ninja Mutant Turtles to sort out the mutant jellyfish..

Elf.

[edit on 1-2-2009 by MischeviousElf]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by operation mindcrime
very interesting post (as always, Elf..)


But given the fact everyting in natures levels out and finds a balance i suspect we will soon see an other species flourishing on this newly found foodgroup!! (or are jelleyfish non-edible???)

Peace...

ps: star and flag...

[edit on 1/2/2009 by operation mindcrime]


What if they're just nature balancing itself, again?
I agree though, with mindcrime- Nature always finds a way to even things out.

Sounds like a great find- I wouldn't mind staying young forever.



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by Dewm0nster
I agree though, with mindcrime- Nature always finds a way to even things out.


Yep he and you are right, but that means humans will be eaten of finished soon to!!!

There is a big unbalance, maybe this is the solution as the fears I mention I have on this and the food chain.



Sounds like a great find- I wouldn't mind staying young forever.


Well it is the most ancient of human desires to cheat death, Jellyfish soup anyone?

Kind regards,

Elf



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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I already posted about this in a different thread, but I'll restate myself in a different way.

1) It would never work to keep humans immortal, unless we started to reproduce asexually as well as sexually. Jellyfish have two stages, the polyp which reproduces asexually, and the medusa, which reproduces sexually.

2) What these Cnidarians can do is revert back from their medusa form into a polyp form again, which reproduces by budding. It is "immortal" in that the same DNA is passed on again and again. However, when the medusa reverts into a polyp, there is a likelihood that the first polyp which came from the medusa will die. The polyps that budded from it will survive. It's the same DNA, not necessarily the same exact organism, because technically the jellyfish is going from one organism, reproducing into a number of organisms, and each of those can reproduce into more organisms, but it doesn't "live forever."

3) It is just as immortal as any animal that reproduces asexually (like planaria or other animals) that keep the same DNA. It's like saying... amebas are immortal. These jellyfish just have a quick way of reproducing and are able to revert back to an earlier stage. That's impressive, but not unknown. For instance, the axolotl, a much more advanced animal which is a vertebrate and a type of salamander, remains "young" for it's entire life and does not progress past the larval stage. It also has the ability to regrow fully functional limbs. THOSE animals may have a great importance to cancer research and other applications for human use. They are being researched currently.

4) I'd also like to state that some jellyfish in the class Hydrozoa are a combination of many organisms, they are colonial.

5) Jellyfish in the class Anthozoa remain as corals or anemones for the vast majority of their lives and can bud, or reproduce asexually, all they want in that stage. So their DNA is also continued on and "immortal" since their buds can also reproduce.

6) Some jellyfish are edible by humans. Turtles and other jellyfish eat jellyfish. Some fish do, too, like the mola mola.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by ravenshadow13]



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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Can someone please explain to me how is being able to regenerate considered being immortal.


Can the Jellyfish be killed, If no there immortal if yes there are not.


Is there any proof that they are truly immortal ?



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by jatsc
Is there any proof that they are truly immortal ?


Well I suppose it depends on your definition of Immortal.

if you take the comic book view, so if you shoot a person in the brain repeatedly they live, well no that is Sci - FI

But these do when under threat of starvation, danger, injury make all of their cells become youthful again, and are able to turn any cell say a nerve into sperm. Or tentacle cell into nerve.

Therefore they are much more immortal than anything seen to date in nature.

in addition they do make clones of themselves and reproduce endlessly from the original "parent" polyp

Really do look at the National Geo link on the first post for some good explanations of its abilities.

Elf



posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


Both polyps and medusas can reproduce. Polyps reproduce by budding, medusas reproduce by external sexual fertilization involving sperm and an egg, which creates a larva. The larva is motile, then becomes sessile and develops into a polyp, which then buds. In this case, after reproducing sexually, or perhaps instead of reproducing sexually, the medusa reverts into a polyp which can continue budding and developing into medusas. Not all of the larva will survive, not all of the polyps will survive. The DNA continues but the individual organism may not, it will multiply itself by budding and some of it may die, some of it will survive.
If anyone has any questions regarding the mechanism, see my above post.

Edit- This is how normal jellyfish reproduce. As you can see, the DNA changes at the point when the two medusas mate. If the medusas revert to polyps, the DNA would stay the same and be "immortal"

Does that help?



[edit on 2/1/2009 by ravenshadow13]

New Edit- This is probably something like how jellyfish in the class Anthozoa came to be, because they live most of their life as polyps. That's probably what will happen now, since the medusa stage won't be necessary for reproduction at all. My bet is that the jellyfish will evolve into being polyps most of the time and medusas only to relocate themselves before becoming budding polyps again.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by ravenshadow13]



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