Unlocking the Secrets of Immortality: Genetic Analysis of Turritopsis dohrnii

The genetics that make one animal immortal have been revealed
Immortality is possible, but you have to be a jellied, and not a god, vampire, to achieve it. Turritopsis dohrnii is the only species of cnidarian that has been known to possess this secret. The geneticists believe that comparing T. dornii with its closely related T. rubra will help them understand the aging and how to avoid it.

Turritopsis is a warm-water jellyfish that measures 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) in length. Three species of hydra can age backwards, like Benjamin Button. They go from the adult stage to the juvenile, and then grow up again. Two of them can only age backwards from hydra adolescent stage to child. Like the victims in uncensored stories, they are locked into adulthood by sexual reproduction. T. dohrnii can, however, go back and forth between its adult free-floating stage and bottom-living polyps, a process known as Life Cycle Reversal (LCR).

The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a paper comparing T. dorhnii with T. rubra, hoping to learn more about the differences. It also included a few other distantly related cnidarians.


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