An elixir of youth could be found in the seabed. Scientists are studying a jellyfish to explain its immortality, as revealed The Parisian Saturday 10th September 2022.
Everyone dreamed of immortality and eternal youth. If men are still far from having found the fountain of youth, one type of jellyfish manages to avoid death from old ageas reported The ParisianSaturday 10 September 2022. The immortal jellyfish, rightly called Turritopsis dohrnii, which for years has multiplied all over the world, manages to regain its juvenile form, called octopus, by attaching itself to the walls.
DNA protecting genes
This time we are not talking about the venom of the most dangerous jellyfish on the planet. A team of Spanish researchers, led by the biologist Maria Pascual-Torner of the University of Oviedo, has undertaken the study of an immortal jellyfish. In an article published at the end of August 2022, as well as in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers explain that they compared the immortal jellyfish to a nearby English species, called “crimson jellyfish” [“crimson jelly“, ndlr].
They found out the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii had twice as many copies of genes that promote DNA repair and protection. Some mutations would also allow it to slow down cell division and cell aging. Scientists have shown that when the jellyfish is weakened by a change in the environment or injury, it becomes a polyp again and its cells regain their youth. They also found that the crimson jellyfish has these genes, but cannot rejuvenate as often.
Immortality for men?
Studies are still underway to try to understand how the particular functioning of this jellyfish can help human medicine. According to the researchers, the identified genes could be useful for providing information on age-related diseases in humanssuch as tumors or neurodegeneration.
Nothing yet tells us whether the secret of eternal youth has been revealed, but the discoveries made thanks to this jellyfish could help cure many diseases, and why not allow us to live longer. A similar study was also conducted on an immortal worm, which could fight bacteria.