Turritopsis Dohrnii and The Idea of Immortality

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What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you’re told that a species has been identified as immortal? It’s understood that immortality means having the ability to live forever or last forever. Along with that, it’s also perceived that immortality has always thought to be impossible, but not anymore because the jellyfish “Turttiopsis Dohrnii” is now familiarized as the uniquely immortal creature. An immortal creature that can recycle its life, provide more advanced cancer analysis and is a lusty fighter.

To begin with, it’s immortal because they can’t die, they transform themselves back into their juvenile polyp state. In other words, “it appeared to age in reverse, growing younger, and younger until it reached its earliest stage of development, at which point it began its life cycle anew”. The organism can reverse back to its earliest stage of life, as a result of that it’s escaping death. Think of their life cycle as a child’s, most children start off as a baby, then they grow up, later becoming a teenager, an adult, and lastly old and die. However, in this case, the jellyfish is allowed to start its cycle over from the beginning. Its cycle first starts as a Polyp, it later grows up and is an immature medusa, then a mature medusa fertilizing eggs and lastly, a planula in which at that stage they are able to reverse back. Practically, the jellyfish can revert to its infant stage even in adulthood, which is vastly impressive due to the fact that immortality to the jellyfish means they won’t die of “natural causes”, which also means they won’t die from old age.

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Next, the jellyfish provides analysis for reverse aging with the cells inside of its body. This is essential in immortality research because it can help cancer patients and individuals born with mutations. In the article “Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality” by Nathaniel Rich it was said that a species called “Hydrozoans” a species similar to polyp can help understand “the behavior of miRNA for two reasons. They are extremely simple organisms and miRNA are crucial to their biological development”. An easier alternative way to comprehend that is that MicroRNA’s are responsive and affect human cancer. Therefore, if more funds were provided to study the behavior of them, and more experts in that field then it’d be another step helpful on how to cure cancer for humans because although it would not fully solve it, it can actually be useful for other scientists. Not just that, but there would even be a clearer understanding of how these species work. However, due to all those reasons then there can’t be further research because it’s vastly expensive. These species can play a major role in society because they can provide hope for individuals who are trying to fight cancer. Not just that, but these jellyfish just prove how much mysterious they are and necessary to know more about.

Furthermore, the “Turritopsis Dohnrii” is also known as a lust fighter because even when it’s believed to be “dead” after being killed it rejuvenates. For instance, “when T. Dohrnii suffers an attack, or starvation, or some kind of environmental stress. Instead of dying, they change firstly into a tiny bolb and then shift back to the polyp stage within three days” (Kruszelnicki). This demonstrates that the jellyfish is invincible and a competitor because even when it’s in a tough situation it won’t die. In fact, a scientist named Shin Kubota stabbed a jellyfish 50 times in order to trigger its deaging process. Surprisingly, it did not die from having its body broken down, it rejuvenated itself even in injury. They do this through something called “transdifferentiating” which is a rare natural transformation of cells aside from stems cells into a different cell type. To tell the truth, you can’t really use the term “death” when the jellyfish rejuvenates because if death means the end life of a human being or organism then it’s obvious that the jellyfish can’t follow under that term because if they keep recycling its life and can’t die, then the real question that should be asked is how can they die?

All things considered, many may disagree that it’s not a true “immortal” because if “immortal” meant passing your genes down, then yes, it’s immortal. However, those are not the same cells anymore. The cells are immortal, but not automatically the organism alone, many would ponder it a “clone.” Also, the jellyfish requires care, effort, and specific requirements in order to keep it alive. However, many don’t see the bigger picture here or ask themselves why this matter. This can be life changing because since you were a kid you were always told that aging and getting old is completely normal. The thought of dying at some point sounds scary, yet despite that outcome, you were also told that you should be thankful for life. As well as, the idea that immortality is a thing of fantasy of stories and movies, but now it doesn’t have to be a fantasy it can actually be true. You can perhaps even be a part of it in the future, but in order for that to happen the secret of how the “Turttiopsis Dohrnii” jellyfish does it to be immortal needs to be studied further in order to change the future of aging.

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Turritopsis Dohrnii and The Idea of Immortality. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/turritopsis-dohrnii-and-the-idea-of-immortality/
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