this curious life
Follow
Find
1.1K views | +0 today
 
Rescooped by Janet Devlin from Amazing Science
onto this curious life
Scoop.it!

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality and Reversal of Aging?

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality and Reversal of Aging? | this curious life | Scoop.it

Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student in his early 20s, was conducting research on hydrozoans, small invertebrates that, depending on their stage in the life cycle, resemble either a jellyfish or a soft coral. Every morning, Sommer went snorkeling in the turquoise water off the cliffs of Portofino, Italy. He scanned the ocean floor for hydrozoans, gathering them with plankton nets. Among the hundreds of organisms he collected was a tiny, relatively obscure species known to biologists as Turritopsis dohrnii. Today it is more commonly known as the immortal jellyfish. Sommer kept his hydrozoans in petri dishes and observed their reproduction habits. After several days he noticed that his Turritopsis dohrnii was behaving in a very peculiar manner, for which he could hypothesize no earthly explanation. Plainly speaking, it refused to die. It appeared to age in reverse, growing younger and younger until it reached its earliest stage of development, at which point it began its life cycle anew.

 

Sommer was baffled by this development but didn’t immediately grasp its significance. (It was nearly a decade before the word “immortal” was first used to describe the species.) But several biologists in Genoa, fascinated by Sommer’s finding, continued to study the species, and in 1996 they published a paper called “Reversing the Life Cycle.” The scientists described how the species — at any stage of its development — could transform itself back to a polyp, the organism’s earliest stage of life, “thus escaping death and achieving potential immortality.” This finding appeared to debunk the most fundamental law of the natural world — you are born, and then you die. One of the paper’s authors, Ferdinando Boero, likened the Turritopsis to a butterfly that, instead of dying, turns back into a caterpillar. Another metaphor is a chicken that transforms into an egg, which gives birth to another chicken. The anthropomorphic analogy is that of an old man who grows younger and younger until he is again a fetus. For this reason Turritopsis dohrnii is often referred to as the Benjamin Button jellyfish.

 

Some progress has been made, however, in the quarter-century since Christian Sommer’s discovery. We now know, for instance, that the rejuvenation of Turritopsis dohrnii and some other members of the genus is caused by environmental stress or physical assault. We know that, during rejuvenation, it undergoes cellular transdifferentiation, an unusual process by which one type of cell is converted into another — a skin cell into a nerve cell, for instance. (The same process occurs in human stem cells.) But we still don’t understand how it ages in reverse.

 

Immortality is, to a certain degree, a question of semantics. “That word ‘immortal’ is distracting,” says James Carlton, the professor of marine sciences at Williams. “If by ‘immortal’ you mean passing on your genes, then yes, it’s immortal. But those are not the same cells anymore. The cells are immortal, but not necessarily the organism itself.” To complete the Benjamin Button analogy, imagine the man, after returning to a fetus, being born again. The cells would be recycled, but the old Benjamin would be gone; in his place would be a different man with a new brain, a new heart, a new body. He would be a clone.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.

From around the web

this curious life
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
Curated by Janet Devlin
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Aboriginal legends reveal ancient secrets to science - BBC News

Aboriginal legends reveal ancient secrets to science - BBC News | this curious life | Scoop.it
Scientists are increasingly turning to the ancient stories of Australia's Aboriginal peoples to learn something new about a very old country.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Why We Pity The Woman-Child But Love Infantile Men

Why We Pity The Woman-Child But Love Infantile Men | this curious life | Scoop.it
In "Preggoland," Ruth spends most of her time working at an off-brand Walmart and drinking out of a cellphone-shaped flask. She's in her 30s and it seems like everyone around her
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

“American Sniper’s” biggest lie: Clint Eastwood has a delusional Fox News problem

“American Sniper’s” biggest lie: Clint Eastwood has a delusional Fox News problem | this curious life | Scoop.it
The insanities and fantasies at the heart of "American Sniper" explain everything about the state of the 2015 GOP
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Immune system genes may change with the season

Immune system genes may change with the season | this curious life | Scoop.it
Our mood, metabolism and sex lives are dependent on the seasons, and now it seems, so is our immune system.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

The Amazing Decline of America’s Special Relationships

The Amazing Decline of America’s Special Relationships | this curious life | Scoop.it
Why the new (old) governments in Israel and Britain bode ill for what once were Washington’s most important alliances.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Janet Devlin from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Women's Restroom Sign Breaks Stereotypes

Women's Restroom Sign Breaks Stereotypes | this curious life | Scoop.it

The It Was Never a Dress campaign is not only taking social media by storm, it is also changing the way we view the traditional women's bathroom sign. We see that the men's figure wears pants and the women's symbol wears a dress, but what if it was never meant to be a dress in the first place?  Tania Katan launched the popular #ItWasNeverADress campaign at last week's 'Girls in Tech' conference with the idea that the female figure is instead wearing a cape, asserting that women can be superheroes or anything else they choose to be."


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Craig Seasholes's curator insight, May 9, 10:42 AM

I see the outlines of a great campaign!

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 10:30 AM

I love this! Unit 3: Cultural landscape and norms.

Katie's curator insight, Today, 12:19 PM

In this article it suggest that the stereotypical dress for the the women bathroom sign is not a dress, but a cape. This hows that women can be superheroes or whatever they want to be. Still today there is a lack of women in he workforce compared to men. For every 4 men working working for Google there is 1 women and half of them quit because of the poor work environment. I think this helps represent that women are capable of anything. This is an example of women in the workforce and gender equity.  

Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

When Baltimore Shook With Anger, Here’s What China Saw

When Baltimore Shook With Anger, Here’s What China Saw | this curious life | Scoop.it
Online reaction revealed much about Chinese tension with an influx of African immigrants.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Now we can edit the human genome, the question is: should we?

Now we can edit the human genome, the question is: should we? | this curious life | Scoop.it
Some of the diseases that could be cured are far more distressing than mutations in an embyro that was never going to develop anyway.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

A crying shame

A crying shame | this curious life | Scoop.it
The letter was kind of magnificent. It came by post (a declining tradition; these days such missives are much more likely to plop balefully into my ABC inbox) and was marked with the high-end Melbourne address of the writer, a man with whom I was not previously acquainted. Subject, in bold: “THE WIFE DROUGHT.” “Dear Ms Crabb,” it began.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Eye-gazing technology empowering students at Darwin school

Eye-gazing technology empowering students at Darwin school | this curious life | Scoop.it
New computer software that allows a person's eye to control a computer cursor is giving a voice to students in the NT who cannot communicate verbally.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

IN GOOD COMPANY: Why Heston Blumenthal moved his restaurant to the other side of the world

IN GOOD COMPANY: Why Heston Blumenthal moved his restaurant to the other side of the world | this curious life | Scoop.it
Training, work and the right kind of snail.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

How the Mad Men Pilot Predicted the Final Episodes of the Series

How the Mad Men Pilot Predicted the Final Episodes of the Series | this curious life | Scoop.it
Watching “Smoke” again, it’s become increasingly clear that the pilot has the ring of prophecy.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Trigger identified that likely unleashes autoimmune disease

Trigger identified that likely unleashes autoimmune disease | this curious life | Scoop.it
Researchers believe they have discovered a group of cells that trigger autoimmune disease, as well as the molecular 'trigger guard' that normally holds them in check. These previously undetected cells are renegade versions of the cells that make the 'high affinity' antibodies required for long-term immunity.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

The best sports docos of all time | The New Daily

The best sports docos of all time | The New Daily | this curious life | Scoop.it
Sports documentaries have attained high-art status in recent years. We present the best from the genre.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Janet Devlin from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Using 'Geography Education'

Using 'Geography Education' | this curious life | Scoop.it

"This story map was created with ArcGIS Online to guide users on how to get the most out of the Geography Education websites on Wordpress and Scoop.it."


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Victor Nganguem's curator insight, April 24, 5:54 AM

j'aime ça

Haze Kraze's curator insight, May 6, 4:36 AM

Highly appreciated :)

Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Ebola turns doctor’s eye green

Ebola turns doctor’s eye green | this curious life | Scoop.it
Ebola virus has been found lurking in a 43-year-old US doctor’s eye 14 weeks after he was diagnosed with the disease and nine weeks after the virus was cleared from his blood and urine.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

The Arab Battle for U.S. Skies

The Arab Battle for U.S. Skies | this curious life | Scoop.it
America’s biggest airlines say the luxury carriers of the oil-rich Persian Gulf aren't playing fair. But are Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways subsidized -- or…
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

China’s Bizarre, Centuries-Old Tradition: Corpse-Snatching

China’s Bizarre, Centuries-Old Tradition: Corpse-Snatching | this curious life | Scoop.it
Sometimes, even today, it's the only way to hold the bad guys accountable.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

The CIA's inner circle of white elephant specialists

The CIA's inner circle of white elephant specialists | this curious life | Scoop.it
The New York Times recently covered a report by long-term critics of psychologists' involvement in the CIA torture programme. It includes a series of leaked emails which suggests something beyond w...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Janet Devlin
Scoop.it!

Huge 90% success of new ovarian cancer blood tests could lead to national screening

Huge 90% success of new ovarian cancer blood tests could lead to national screening | this curious life | Scoop.it
A new blood test for ovarian cancer has been found to detect twice as many cases as conventional methods, and is so successful it could lead to national screening programmes.
more...
No comment yet.