January 31, 2023
Immortal jellyfish DNA may help reverse human aging

Immortal jellyfish DNA may help reverse human aging

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Scientists in Spain have discovered the genetic code of the immortal jellyfish – a creature capable of repeatedly renewing itself to a juvenile state – with the hope of revealing the secret to its unique longevity and finding new clues to human aging.

In their study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Maria Pascual Turner, Victor Quesada and colleagues at the University of Oviedo sequenced the genetics of Turritopsis dohrniithe only known species of jellyfish capable of repeatedly returning to the larval stage after sexual reproduction.

Like other types of jellyfish, the T. Dohrni It goes through a two-part life cycle, and lives on the sea floor during the asexual stage, where its main role is to survive times of food shortage. When conditions are right, jellyfish reproduce sexually.

While many jellyfish species have some ability to reverse aging and return to the larval stage, most lose this ability once they reach sexual maturity, the authors wrote. not so for T. Dohrni.

The study aimed to understand what makes jellyfish different by comparing the genetic sequences of T. Dohrni however turitopsis rubraa close genetic cousin that lacks the ability to regenerate after sexual reproduction.

What they found is that a file T. Dohrni It has differences in its genome that may make it better at copying and fixing DNA. They also seem to be better at preserving the ends of chromosomes called telomeres. In humans and other species, telomere length decreases with age.