How to Live Forever? Be a Jellyfish | Summary and Q&A

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March 20, 2012
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How to Live Forever? Be a Jellyfish

TL;DR

The Turritopsis Dohrnii, also known as the Immortal Jellyfish, is the only known animal capable of reverting back to a younger stage of its life cycle when facing starvation or stress.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the Turritopsis Dohrnii revert back to a younger stage?

When facing starvation or stress, the jellyfish's body deteriorates, and it becomes a cyst. It then reactivates genetic instructions from earlier in its life cycle, creating new polyp cells and initiating the life cycle process again.

Q: Is the Turritopsis Dohrnii truly immortal?

While the jellyfish can technically repeat the reversion process indefinitely, it can still be killed by other organisms or disease, making it not entirely immortal.

Q: What is transdifferentiation, and how is it significant?

Transdifferentiation is the process where mature cells change their functions and become different types of cells. Understanding this process could have implications for tissue regeneration and cancer research.

Q: How can the Turritopsis Dohrnii benefit cancer research?

Its ability to switch cells on and off during times of peril could be useful in isolating cancer cells and activating healthier cell instructions, potentially aiding in cancer treatment.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Turritopsis Dohrnii is a jellyfish that can revert back to a younger version of itself when faced with starvation or stress.

  • Its life cycle involves starting from a fertilized egg, becoming a larva, transforming into a polyp, and finally becoming a jellyfish.

  • The process of reverting back to a younger stage is called transdifferentiation and could have implications for tissue regeneration and cancer research.

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