Tag Archives: jellyfish

Only a Jellyfish Can Live Forever

A tweet from @ranajune caught my eye last night. Rana posted about a story written by Bryan Nelson discussing the world’s only immortal animal: a type of jellyfish. According to Bryan, “The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.”

Modern researchers believe that one day, humans will live to be around 500 years old. While I’m not so convinced of that fact, I do think the discovery that something can live forever is pretty cool. So how is this even possible? The key lies in a process that is called trans-differentiation. This is where a type of cell is transformed into another type. Some animals can undergo limited types of trans-differentiation, regenerating body parts or organs. This is true of salamanders who tend to regrow limbs. This jellyfish, though, can regeneration its entire body over and over again! Scientists are busy studying the jelly to try and figure out how it is able to completely reverse the aging process.

Can you imagine the impact on humanity if there is something about the process that can be used for humans? Cosmetic surgeons will be going out of business faster than your Botox can wear off. Since these jellyfish don’t die, the number of them is spiking dramatically. They’re now found in oceans all over the world instead of just in their native Caribbean waters. If there were some way to apply their regeneration to humanity, can you even grasp how many people we’d have trying to live together on the Earth within a short period of time?

Perhaps I’m reaching a bit in thinking that there could be a correlation to humans. However, just weeks ago we thought that nothing can live forever. Now that we know something can indeed live eternally, why is it wrong to stretch our imaginations to more species – including humans?

Are You a Scuba Geek, Too?

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Ponzi recently went on her first open-water dive, and absolutely loved it. Take a peek at some of what she saw under the water’s surface.


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Desktop Aquarium

One of my all-time favorite desktop aquarium screen toys has been updated again. “Aquazone Seven Seas Deluxe” – you’ve probably used earlier versions of it on your own desktop, as it works in both Windows and OS X. This virtul aquarium now has 40 different species of photo-realistic fresh and saltwater fish, turtles, sharks, and jellyfish. Plus, you can now “tap on the glass” and “sprinkle in fish food” – making an already-fun desktop aquarium even more fun (and less messy than the real thing). It’s even better for me now, as I have a widescreen monitor to the right of my primary screen – connected to another machine, which now runs the aquarium in the foreground. I’ve got it set to follow a shark around the screen right now – but can change it to a tank full of clown fish in an instant. What’s more, they’re currently running a special $5 discount if you use the code ‘NewYear2006’ in the order form. This is the only way I could ever own fish – digital fish in a virtual fish tank.