The theory that claimed that all living things on Earth are mortal was refuted by scientists, who discovered the first immortal organism.
It is a type of jellyfish that has the unique capability to transform its body and live forever.
The jellyfish goes by the name of Turritopsis dohrnii and it inhabits tropical waters, even though it is believed that it originates from the Caribbean.
The same creature was discovered in 1883 in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is no larger than 0.2" (5 mm). It develops from an egg, which goes through a larva stage to a polyp, which later forms the actual jellyfish.
Once it reaches sexual maturity, the jellyfish again transforms into a polyp and repeats its life cycle.
Other jellyfish die once they reach sexual maturity but Turritopsis dohrnii becomes younger.
According to Dr. Daniel Martinez, animals that reach sexual maturity earlier, live less than those animals that require several years to become sexually mature.
Bearing in mind that these jellyfish do not die a natural death, they have the ability to excessively reproduce, which would tip the natural balance in the oceans.
So far, scientists believe that there is no danger of Turritopsis dohrnii taking over the oceans because there are many predators that feed on its young.
But Dr. Maria Miglietta presumes that a quiet jellyfish invasion has begun worldwide.
Experts in genetics and marine biologists are actively studying the unusual jellyfish to find out exactly how it is able to avoid the process of aging.
The process that this jellyfish goes through is called transdifferentiation - where cells morph from one type to another.
Thanks for this process, the jellyfish is immortal, but not invulnerable.
The method of transdifferentiation in Turritopsis dohrnii has inspired scientists to start new projects to make stem cells in humans self-heal and become younger.
If these studies show effective results, perhaps the process of aging will become reversible.See more