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beecee

Perfect Evolution? The Turritopsis Dohrnii:

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii

Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish, is a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish[2][3] found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan. It is one of the few known cases of animals capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary individual. Others include the jellyfish Laodicea undulata[4]and Aurelia sp.1.[5]

Like most other hydrozoans, T. dohrnii begin their life as free-swimming tiny larvae known as planula. As a planula settles down, it gives rise to a colony of polyps that are attached to the sea-floor. All the polyps and jellyfish arising from a single planula are genetically identical clones. The polyps form into an extensively branched form, which is not commonly seen in most jellyfish. Jellyfish, also known as medusae, then bud off these polyps and continue their life in a free-swimming form, eventually becoming sexually mature. When sexually mature they have been known to prey on other jellyfish species at a rapid pace. If a T. dohrniijellyfish is exposed to environmental stress or physical assault, or is sick or old, it can revert to the polyp stage, forming a new polyp colony.[6] It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation, which alters the differentiated state of the cells and transforms them into new types of cells.

Theoretically, this process can go on indefinitely, effectively rendering the jellyfish biologically immortal,[3][7] although in practice individuals can still die. In nature, most Turritopsis are likely to succumb to predation or disease in the medusa stage, without reverting to the polyp form.[8]

more at link.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii

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Comments?? Question is in the title of the thread. Amazing to put it lightly.

 

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Well, not sure how the article applies to your title. But think of it that way. Simple uni or oligocellular organisms only do limited differentiation (if at all). Differentiation and multicellularism helps in solving certain issues, including those involving efficiency, but comes with a certain amount of baggage, including limited flexibility in other respects. As such, all unicellular organisms are theoretically immortal, though some newer molecular studies question that (which will also limit the immortality claim of jellyfish to some extent).  

Jellyfish are at a stage of less complex multicellularism where there is quite a level of specialization among cell types. However, they still maintain relative independence in contrast to more complex organisms especially in terms of regulatory control, which allows a transdifferentiation to a different state. Some cells in our body are able to do similar feats (though to a far more limited degree). I.e. cells that have already differentiated can de-differentiate and become other cell types or directly transdifferentiate. But these processes has to be controlled in our body as they would otherwise cause serious issues.

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Well, not sure how the article applies to your title. 

Just my ignorance on this aspect of science at this time, plus some facetiousness with regards to the aspect of "perfect" with regards to another thread..  :)

Thanks, nice reply overall. Are you also saying there is perhaps just a hint of sensationalism and/or taking some observation to the nth degree as far as the WIKI entry is concerned?

Edited by beecee

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I think it is more a matter of perspective, or perhaps the lack thereof. The idea of something seemingly becoming younger is fascinating. It just does not take into account how simple the organisms are and the fact that similar dynamics are happening in our very own bodies. The wiki entry itself seems to be take from elsewhere, I feel. Just can't point my finger to it, though.

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1 hour ago, CharonY said:

I think it is more a matter of perspective, or perhaps the lack thereof. The idea of something seemingly becoming younger is fascinating. It just does not take into account how simple the organisms are and the fact that similar dynamics are happening in our very own bodies. The wiki entry itself seems to be take from elsewhere, I feel. Just can't point my finger to it, though.

Still, as a well known and respected scientist would say, "Fascinating". :P

[thanks for your input CharonY

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11 hours ago, beecee said:

Still, as a well known and respected scientist would say, "Fascinating".

I think many folks underestimate the fascinating things that go on all around and within us. 

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