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Scientists find life form that lives forever


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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A group of invertebrates known as hydra have the unique ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely.

With a name that matches the multi-headed monster of Greek mythology, hydra are a form of freshwater polyp that resemble a thin tube-like organism with tentacles protruding from one end.

Read More: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/289797/scientists-find-life-form-that-lives-forever

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"Stem cells" certainly appear to be the "Holy Grail" of both disease remediation and "biological immortality"

Edited by pallidin
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Apparently you can get trees to do it too,through the wonder of coppicing. Cool article though, perhaps the only animal known to be able to theoretically live forever :) Hydra are related to jellyfish, aren't they?

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The hydra is one of the simplest forms of many-celled animals. Hydras are related to the jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals.

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/hydra-info.htm

According to the Animal Ageing and Longevity Database, the list of organisms with negligible aging (along with estimated longevity in the wild) includes:[10]

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Hydra[edit]

170px-Hydras_%288%29.JPG

Hydra

Hydras are a genus of the Cnidaria phylum. All cnidarians can regenerate, allowing them to recover from injury and to reproduce asexually. Hydras are simple, freshwater animals possessing radial symmetry and no post-mitotic cells. All hydra cells continually divide.[citation needed] It has been suggested that hydras do not undergo senescence, and, as such, are biologically immortal. In a four-year study, 3 cohorts of hydra did not show an increase in mortality with age. It is possible that these animals live much longer, considering that they reach maturity in 5 to 10 days.[13] However, this does not explain how hydras are consequently able to maintain telomere lengths.

Jellyfish[edit]

Turritopsis dohrnii, or Turritopsis nutricula, is a small (5 millimeters (0.20 in)) species of jellyfish that usestransdifferentiation to replenish cells after sexual reproduction. This cycle can repeat indefinitely, potentially rendering it biologically immortal. This organism originated in the Caribbean sea, but has now spread around the world.

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  • A Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) is measured by ring count to be 5065 years old.[34] This is the oldest known tree in North America, and the oldest known living individual non-clonal tree in the world.
  • Llangernyw Yew may be the oldest individual tree in Europe and second or third oldest individual tree in the world. Believed to be aged between 4,000 years and 5,000 years old, this ancient yew (Taxus baccata) is in the churchyard of the village of Llangernyw in North Wales.
  • Fortingall Yew, an ancient yew (Taxus baccata) in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall inPerthshire, Scotland; one of the oldest known individual trees in Europe. Various estimates have put its age at between 2000 and 5000 years, although these days it is believed to be at the lower end of this range.

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Aquatic animals[edit]

220px-Reef3860_-_Flickr_-_NOAA_Photo_Library.jpg

Giant barrel sponges can live more than 2000 years.

  • Some species of sponges in the ocean near Antarctica are thought to be ten millennia old.[57]
  • Specimens of the black coral genus Leiopathes are among the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet: around 4,265 years old.[58]
  • The giant barrel sponge Xestospongia muta is one of the longest-lived animals, with the largest specimens in the Caribbean estimated to be in excess of 2,300 years.[59]
  • The black coral Antipatharia in the Gulf of Mexico may live more than 2000 years.[60]
  • The Antarctic sponge Cinachyra antarctica has an extremely slow growth rate in the low temperatures of the Southern Ocean. One specimen has been estimated to be 1,550 years old.[61]

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Exceptions[edit]

  • One species of jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii, reverts to a sexually immature stage after reproducing, rather than dying as in other jellyfish. Consequently, the species is considered biologically immortal and has no maximum lifespan.[32]
  • There may be no natural limit to the Hydra's life span, but it is not yet clear how to estimate the age of a specimen.
  • Flatworms, or Platyhelminthes, are known to be "almost immortal" as they have a great regeneration capacity, continuous growth andbinary fission type cellular division.[33]
  • Lobsters are sometimes said to be biologically immortal because they don't seem to slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age. However, due to the energy needed for moulting, they don't live indefinitely.[34]

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Can a real version of Doctor Who be far behind?

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There are plants in the Arum Family (Araceae) that have practical immortality. If you look at a very common house plant Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) it works something like this: At some point the Pothos came into being from sexual reproduction as a seed and then a seedling. Unlike most plants which seek out light, climbing Aroids like Pothos look for darkness, because that means the shade of a tree. As they crawl along a dimly lit rainforest floor they eventually find that shade, encounter the trunk of a tree and begin climbing. Here the plant changes from thread like stems with small leaves to ever increasing thicker stems and larger leaves, which unlike the houseplant people have in their homes can get 2-3 feet in length and have deeply split margins. This is all hormonal, because the plant only develops larges leaves and stems when attached to a vertical surface, which is one reason your houseplant never gets that big (lace of care may be the other reason). So this climbing vine now reached the sunlight, flowers and produces seeds, possibly for decades or hundreds of years.

It does not harm its host, other than the increased weight which may doom the tree in a storm. But eventually its host tree dies of old age and crashes to the ground. Orchids, bromeliads and other air plants now begin dying en masse as they are deprived of the light and airflow of the rainforest canopy. But not the Pothos. When the host tree crashed to the ground, the Pothos may be torn into dozens of pieces; but it does not die. Instead, if the pieces are not too badly damaged from the fall, they began growing the small stems and leaves of a young seedling and they seek out another, or perhaps now, several new host trees to climb. Each plant is clonal, a genetic copy of the original and as they repeat this process over millennia the amount of mass of that single clone can multiply exponentially: 1-10-100-1000 and so forth.

Of course some will be consumed by grazers, some die from disease, some by changing environment, but as long as ALL of it is not snuffed out, the plant essentially lives forever and not just as a single connected individual. It can even (and has been) transported to different continents by man where it continues to expand its range. Perhaps a single genetic individual with a global existence, at least in the tropics.

This process is not confined to Pothos, it goes also for other Aroids like Monstera, Philodendron, Syngonium, some Anthurium and other genera.

So be kind to your houseplant, it could be well over 10,000 years old.

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Apparently you can get trees to do it too,through the wonder of coppicing. Cool article though, perhaps the only animal known to be able to theoretically live forever :) Hydra are related to jellyfish, aren't they?

Starvation causes transdifferentiation in human cells too.

The research done is limited but 2 weeks starvation replaces damaged pancreas cells (curing diabetes) and replaces damaged heart cells. No other research has yet been done to see what else it replaces.

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I'm ready to have hydra DNA spliced into my genome ASAP,I want to live forever. I don't care if I grow tentacles and develop an irresistible urge to bathe in pond scum.

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If science ever discovers the key to immortality I don't think it will be good for man kind. First, the rich and powerful will want to keep it for themselves. They could make man believe what they want them to over generations. Making us there slaves as they just gain more wealth and power. Wait. What?

Actually, there are too many people on this planet now as is. People living for ever (or even twice as long as now) and adding thousands more daily, would not work very well for long. We need death in order to keep life going.

If people stopped dying today, I think man would be extinct in a couple hundred years. We would kill each other off for many reasons.

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If science ever discovers the key to immortality I don't think it will be good for man kind. First, the rich and powerful will want to keep it for themselves. They could make man believe what they want them to over generations. Making us there slaves as they just gain more wealth and power. Wait. What?

Actually, there are too many people on this planet now as is. People living for ever (or even twice as long as now) and adding thousands more daily, would not work very well for long. We need death in order to keep life going.

If people stopped dying today, I think man would be extinct in a couple hundred years. We would kill each other off for many reasons.

It would be great to live "forever" at the apparent age of a healthy 18-30 year old. But who wants to live forever as a decrepit old man. Long life without good health or without proper mental faculties would be torture. And if your friends and family aged normally, you would see a lot of people come and go and that could get very lonely.

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I'm ready to have hydra DNA spliced into my genome ASAP,I want to live forever. I don't care if I grow tentacles and develop an irresistible urge to bathe in pond scum.

The Bible advocates periodic fasting and we find people living centuries in it. I wonder......

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The Bible advocates periodic fasting and we find people living centuries in it. I wonder......

There does indeed appear for humans that periodic substantial caloric reduction is associated with lower disease progression and aging parameters, presuming an otherwise healthy environment and a source of clean water.

To what degree of decreased disease progression and general whole-body longevity can result for humans, and what might be the optimal types and cycles of caloric reduction needs more study, from what I've heard.

It's a complicated subject for complicated organisms. The "answer" is likely to be "answers"

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The Govenments of the world would kill you off as they couldn't afford to keep paying you a pension and other benefits.

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There does indeed appear for humans that periodic substantial caloric reduction is associated with lower disease progression and aging parameters, presuming an otherwise healthy environment and a source of clean water.

To what degree of decreased disease progression and general whole-body longevity can result for humans, and what might be the optimal types and cycles of caloric reduction needs more study, from what I've heard.

It's a complicated subject for complicated organisms. The "answer" is likely to be "answers"

Someone living 5000 years ago following a dietary regime including fasts throughout the year would not only have had caloric reduction but higher levels of cold shock proteins due to lower global temperatures. We shouldn't dismiss people living centuries, it might be real.

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Someone living 5000 years ago following a dietary regime including fasts throughout the year would not only have had caloric reduction but higher levels of cold shock proteins due to lower global temperatures. We shouldn't dismiss people living centuries, it might be real.

Just a thought... I think that caloric fasts must be done at least each week to have any substantive affect with humans.

Recall, for others, that clean, pure water, and many necessary nutrients actually have zero calories.

Caloric intake appears, to my knowledge, to be a serious biological problem for humans, especially with regards to disease progression.

Not saying there should be NO caloric intake, as that is unhealthy and would eventually be lethal.

A difficult "balancing" problem to be sure, but seems to be mitigated somewhat by cyclic caloric "fasting"

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The secrets, as they are, for extended human longevity seems to be in nature.

Why, I ask myself, is this attribute not readily afforded to the crowning achievement of Nature, humans?

Why must we die relatively young when some other organisms, so much lower than ourselves, live so much longer?

Seems "unfair", as if Nature is saying that the most intelligent MUST die first, as a whole.

What is this?! Some type of "evolutionary" thing? Promoting a higher species at the expense of the individual?

Allowing some type of rapid evolution by virtue of procreation and death?

I don't know. Totally confused.

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It seems that, in Nature, sometimes when the father/mother procreates, they die very soon afterwards.

However, there is no such direct correlation with humans, at all.

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So, is this from Deja Vu News? This is quite well known in biology (esp marine biology) circles and has been discussed several times on UM - here I am back in 2012, then almost exactly a year ago in 2014... Did this student suddenly stumble on stuff that's already very well known and then convince that site it was something new?

And yes, it has little to do with human genetics (to date) - maybe something will come of it some day, but until then it is just recycling old news. That student needs to do something with his new found knowledge instead of waiting around for hydra to die....

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