Biologists believe, Turritopsis dohrnii or 'Benjamin Button' Jellyfish may unlock the secret to immortality.

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Utnapishtim was the only man to escape death in the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic. He told Gilgamesh that “the secret to immortality lay in a coral found on the ocean floor”. This was said just in epic, but Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student, discovered in 1988, while conducting research on hydrozoans, that the dialogue (the secret to immortality lay in a coral found on the ocean floor) could be true. After few researches, researchers now believe that Jellyfish may unlock the secret to immortality.


Jellyfish

During his research, Sommer used to scanned the ocean floor for hydrozoans and collected some obscure species. To biologists this obscure species is known as Turritopsis dohrnii (also known as ‘Benjamin Button‘ Jellyfish). At present it is widely known as the Immortal Jellyfish. But why it is being called immortal Jellyfish, while every life will face death? Well the reason is while Sommer was observing the reproduction habits of his captured Jellyfishes, he noticed that they were behaving in a very peculiar manner. Rather than becoming weak or growing old or dying, apparently it appeared to Sommer that these animals’ age were decreasing and hence the animals were becoming more younger and stronger until it had reached its earliest stage of development, at which point it began its life cycle anew.

After discovering this unusual activity of Jellyfish, several biologists in Genoa started to study on this species. In 1996, these biologists published a paper called “Reversing the Life Cycle.” The scientists described how the species could transform itself back to its earliest stage of life and “thus escaping death and achieving potential immortality.”

This exceptional power of Jellyfish challenged the natural law of the world “You are born and then you die.” Researchers are still studying on Jellyfish. They believe that Jellyfish has appeared as a key to unlock the secret to immortality.

Source : The New York Times

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  On November 29, 2012(1 year, 12 months ago.)

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