In a report published by the French newspaper Le Point, writer Nathalie Lamoreaux said that the idea of ​​"eternal life" is a dream as old as the world that has led generations of men and women to search for strange things such as the Holy Grail or the fountain of youth.

These attempts, which have been mobilized to rid humanity of diseases and aging through scientific and technical innovations, are a continuation of the ancient attempts to search for a path to immortality or liberation from our mortal nature.

immortal jellyfish

According to Helen Merle Beral, a researcher in the mechanisms of cell death, the irony is that the ocean floor is filled with unusually small creatures that are able to return to their juvenile form.

The most prominent of these creatures, which scientists focused on, is the immortal jellyfish, which is scientifically called "turtopesis".

Among the distinguishing features of this aquatic animal is its ability to renew its cells indefinitely.

The writer mentioned that there are two types of jellyfish of the genus Turtopesis, which are known as immortal jellyfish: the first is 'Turopepesis neutracula' discovered by John McCrady in 1857 in the Caribbean Sea, and the second is the immortal jellyfish studied by Christian Sommer, a student of marine biology in Italy in 1988 in Mediterranean waters.

Turapaceae Nutracula is less than 5 millimeters long.

The second type, "immortal jellyfish", changes shape depending on its environment. It has 8 tentacles in tropical waters, compared to 24 or more tentacles in temperate regions.

Khaled in theory .. But how?

Young jellyfish grow, multiply, and then die.

But when their living conditions deteriorate, such as lack of food, inappropriate water temperature, exposure to injury and old age, the jellyfish activates the feature of refusing to die, as the jellyfish changes its shape to return in time to the polyp stage and resume the course of normal life again, making it "theoretically immortal".

This process is somewhat similar to a butterfly transforming into a cocoon again or a human returning to a fetal state.

In 2011, Shin Kubota, a marine biologist at Kyoto University in Japan, observed the immortal jellyfish regenerate itself 10 times in a row.

The process at the heart of these transformations is called "reciprocal differentiation," says Stefano Piraino, a biologist at Italy's University of Lecce and one of the first scientists to uncover the phenomenon.

Combs, corals, sea anemones and jellyfish are widespread (Getty Images)

Differentiation anisotropy corresponds to a reverse movement in which specialized cells lose their structure and return to an initial, undifferentiated state, without characteristics and then a new state of differentiation emerges, but by what mechanism?

Scientists know that some genes become active when this process begins, but they are ignorant of how the molecular switches that allow genes to be active and inactive are controlled.

If we know this, we can, for example, reactivate certain genes so that cells can continue to produce certain essential proteins.

The question arises: were jellyfish able to colonize all the seas in the world thanks to this amazing ability of "mutual differentiation"?

In fact, it is not so.

Bella Jalil, a marine environmental researcher, explains that "combists, corals, sea anemones and jellyfish are widespread and are invasive marine and inland aquatic species and lack the reciprocal conversion mechanism characteristic of immortal jellyfish.

To invade the seas and oceans so quickly, the immortal jellyfish lived in the cracks of water-filled ships that roam the world and reproduced in this stressful environment by reversing its life cycle.

Should we be concerned about this spread?

“The jellyfish has dramatic environmental and economic impacts that range from damage to fisheries to pollution of coastal and marine infrastructure, to risks to human health,” said Bella Jalil.

"We don't know if this threatens biodiversity. We first need to determine how many species there are. Molecular studies have discovered between 7 and 9 species of the genus eurypteryx, and one species may be a combination of two to four hidden species."

Because of this apparent complexity, the invasive or endemic status of native species must be carefully re-evaluated.

However, the available data indicate that the immortal jellyfish is an invasive species.

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