16 February 2009

going back to catepillar

Turritopsis dohrnii

It seems that cockroaches won't be the only ones to survive whatever catastrophe eventually rocks our global ecosystem. This "immortal" jellyfish will do so by turning into many smaller and younger versions of itself.

From National Geographic News:

" . . . when starvation, physical damage, or other crises arise, "instead of sure death, [Turritopsis] transforms all of its existing cells into a younger state," said study author Maria Pia Miglietta, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University.

The jellyfish turns itself into a bloblike cyst, which then develops into a polyp colony, essentially the first stage in jellyfish life.

The jellyfish's cells are often completely transformed in the process. Muscle cells can become nerve cells or even sperm or eggs.

Through asexual reproduction, the resulting polyp colony can spawn hundreds of genetically identical jellyfish—near perfect copies of the original adult."

No comments: