Friday, January 30, 2009
"Immortal" Jellyfish Swarming Across the Oceanic World
A type of jellyfish known as Turritopsis Nutricula has the ability to revert back to a juvenile form after becoming sexually mature and mating. Scientists claim the jellyfish population in the world is skyrocketing, because they don't seem to be dying.
It's gotten to the point where Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion."
Although they are only 5mm long, the jellyfish which originated in the Caribbean have managed to spread worldwide. Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self through the cell development process of trans-differentiation.
The scary concept to consider is that scientists believe they can do this indefinitely, causing this animal to be potentially immortal. Which is why it will be the focus of many intricate studies by marine biologists and geneticists, to determine exactly how it manages to literally reverse its aging process.