Benjamin Button Jellyfish

immortal jellyfish

I enjoy reading the New York Times so much. Especially when they write about various aspects of aging. This article got my attention, because is even better, it’s about immortality and fighting aging. You have probably heard about the immortal  jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii, that instead of dying goes back in time and renews itself to become young again. It’s fascinating. It could give us the clues to make a human being immortal, however I quote:

 You might expect that, having learned of the existence of immortal life, man would dedicate colossal resources to learning how the immortal jellyfish performs its trick. You might expect that biotech multinationals would vie to copyright its genome; that a vast coalition of research scientists would seek to determine the mechanisms by which its cells aged in reverse; that pharmaceutical firms would try to appropriate its lessons for the purposes of human medicine; that governments would broker international accords to govern the future use of rejuvenating technology. But none of this happened.

And this is not the most surprising thing! Do you know how many researchers in the world culture the immortal jellyfish in a lab? Just one. I found this really shocking. There’s only one guy, a Japanese professor Dr. Shin Kubota, who has been keeping a population of  Turritopsis dohrnii in a lab, carefully looking after them and studying them. I believe he is one of the most amazing researchers in the world, because he studies the jelly fish to solve the problem of aging and become immortal. I quote him:

The immortal medusa is the most miraculous species in the entire animal kingdom, I believe it will be easy to solve the mystery of immortality and apply ultimate life to human beings.

That’s the spirit! I believe Dr. Kubota needs all the help in the world to figure out what it is exactly that makes the immortal jelly fish be able to reverse its age backwards. It’s such a shame that he has got no money and no help at all to conduct this kind of research. I understood from the article that other than funding Dr. Kubota needs a molecular biologist and a geneticist to collaborate with to decipher those rejuvenation mechanisms. Anyone interested? Any volunteers? Do I need to say that this is probably the most important research in the history of mankind?


Filed under Mechanisms of aging

5 responses to “Benjamin Button Jellyfish

  1. lori

    dna repair products are available, just check out dna repair products on facebook, they have all of the science and links on the page for you to check out, its pretty cool

  2. Braekmans Herman

    Dear Maria,
    I find this indeed very sad. I’m 48 years and on caloric restriction for 4 years, but I’m struggling with thought to abandon this rigourous and stressing life-style and enjoy my life and eat and drink myself to death for the few decades I have left, because the disappointments with regard to financial support for life extension research are too big for hope not letting me drive crazy. Ignorance rules this world because mankind is still an unupgraded species, the link with their poorly evolved primate past makes them immature to prioritize important things properly and I’m afraid this is going to last for a while. My mother, 74 years old is still going incredibly stong. She has 117 HDL, 85 LDL, 24 trigycerides and NO CRP and she devours sugar! Her genetic protection against environmetal stressors must be a fullerene stronghold. The rest of her markers are outstanding, she has a chance to become a centenarian. But I am a man 1.93m tall, she might outlive me and I want to take care of her, because my brother, who never visited her or let her see her grandchildren, will put her in a nursery home. I have to hit 80 in good health to never let that happen.
    You are still young, beautiful and brilliant but unfortunately only geneticly a lottery winner. I hope you can withstand the dissapointments, don’t let it get to you like it is getting to me. I often feel like a failure and I’m aware I shouldn’t do that. I should remember that it not me that is reponsible, it’s the shortsightedness of the people who have the power and the money to turn the tide overnight. There was some positive news from the spokesman of Google Venture and let’s hope this is no false alarm.

    • Thank you so much for writing and sharing this, Braekmans. I believe there are positive news coming from the scientific world quite often. There are successful experiments when model animals start to live longer after various interventions. There is a problem with translation to humans though. I think things will move forward much quicker after the diagnostic platform of aging will be implemented in the clinic. When we are able to measure hundreds of parameters that will give us the information about our aging processes and their progression, we will be able to apply interventions accordingly. But most importantly, we’ll be able to see if those interventions are effective or not. You will be able to see if caloric restriction is good for you. I wouldn’t recommend changing anyone’s lifestyle unless we have this testing system to evaluate the changes. CR is a very harsh diet. I can’t imagine how strong you are to do this for such a long time. Your persistence is laudable, however no one knows how effective this diet is for you, and if perhaps it could be altered to be more effective. What I do know is that if you are promoting fighting aging, then you are fighting with the shortsightedness of the world. You can contribute by writing and editing the Wikipedia pages on CR, aging, etc. Efforts like this mean a great deal, and are easily doable.

  3. Abelard Lindsey

    Actually, there are others researching this jelly fish. A group of German researchers:

    I suspect it has something to do with it being able to regenerate its mitochondria. Nick Lane’s book and papers have convinced me that aging is due exclusively to mitochondrial dysfunction (although this is hotly debated in life extension circles).

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